How you dress and present yourself tend to dictate how other people perceive you - but what if your face says it all?

I ask this question because every now and then I get weird comments from beauty therapists.

My eyebrow specialist, for example, recently told me that the natural shape of my brows would bring "bad luck".

"They're too rounded and it looks like two knives cutting into your face," she said.

At a lunchtime foot massage with a group of work mates, I was again singled out, this time by the masseuse, who told me I had "fire in my eyes". One of my colleagues asked if she had the same thing, only to be told that, no, she "gets enough sleep".

The most confusing comment I've encountered was made in a beauty salon in China. My mother and I were getting treatments when the beautician suddenly turned to her and said, "Your daughter is selfish. She will not take care of you. She has the kind of face that shows it."

Some of the beliefs held by these beauty therapists are related to physiognomy: the assessment of an individual's character and health based entirely on their physical appearance.

While this pseudoscience has roots in ancient Chinese teachings, the controversial practice was also popular in ancient Greece.

I am usually at a loss for words at such assessments, and stay silent.

After all, if someone insists they can see your destiny from your face alone, is there any point in letting them get to know the real you?