Waiting around in the airport can be so boring, especially if your flight is delayed. You don't want to waste precious chapters of your book that you could read poolside, stocking up on snacks only takes a matter of minutes and there probably is a limit as to how many precautionary toilet trips you need to make. But as it turns out, we've been doing airports all wrong.
In fact, hidden amongst the shiny counters of the World Duty Free hall are so many useful, interesting and beneficial ways to use up those spare hours: free beauty treatments. Of course, we're used to dodging incoming spritzes of perfume left right and centre, but beyond the trigger-happy army lies hand massages, mini facials and full makeovers. There are hair fixes, lip master classes and eye massages galore. And they're all so quick and easy that there's no chance you'll miss that final boarding call.
Of course, you'll no doubt discover plenty of beauty products you'll want to stock your carry on as you dart from counter to counter, but with no VAT—this is duty-free, after all—there's no reason not to invest. So consider the below your hit list of treatments to prepare you for the flight (and holiday) ahead.
A 3-Minute Hair Fix at Aveda
If you've got an early morning flight and thus skipped your usual hair-styling session, head to the Aveda counter, where they'll give you a three-minute touch-up. There are five goals to choose from: add texture, fix flat, fix frizz, fix curls and fix flyaways.
Buy While You're There: Aveda Pramasana Protective Scalp Concentrate (£35)
A Mini Makeup Tutorial at BareMinerals
BareMinerals offer a choice of three makeup tutorials: effortless eyes, complexion perfection and take off and glow—for skin so sheeny and bright, it looks like you've already had a week in the sun.
Buy While You're There: BareMinerals Complexion Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream (£28)
A Skincare and Makeup Overhaul at Benefit
The "10 Years Younger" makeover promises to completely overhaul your skincare and makeup routine. Perfect if you're heading straight to brunch or sundowners when you land.
Buy While You're There: Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil (£21)
A 10-Minute Makeup Workshop at Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown has some of the most useful makeup lessons around, specialising in natural makeup styles that simply make you look like the best version of yourself. We'll definitely be trying the "Look Less Tired" tutorial ahead of our next red-eye flight.
Buy While You're There: Bobbi Brown Corrector (£20)
A Complexion Refresh at Clarins
The Instant Facial Lift at the Clarins counter is exactly the sort of perk-up skin needs pre-flight. It includes a heavenly moisturiser, a shot of Double Serum and then the application of a foundation of your choice.
Buy While You're There: Clarins Double Serum (£68)
A Lip Makeup at Dior
Never quite got the knack of perfect lipstick application? Might as well learn now with Dior's mini makeover.
Buy While You're There: Dior Addict Lacquer Stick (£26)
A Hand-and-Arm Massage at Elemis
There are few things more soothing than a rigorous but gentle hand massage, especially when using one of Elemis's dreamy body lotions.
Buy While You're There: Elemis Sea Lavendar and Samphire Body Lotion (£26)
An Eye Massage at Elizabeth Arden
Travelling is tiring work, but at least with this soothing eye massage at the Elizabeth Arden counter, your eyes won't show off just how knackered you are.
Buy While You're There: Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum (£52).
A Mini Facial at Estée Lauder
Estée Lauder knows efficacious skincare, so consider this the perfect opportunity to try out everything designed to work with your skin type—and then probably buy it all too.
Buy While You're There: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II (£75)
A Shine-Buff at Givenchy
Caught sight of your skin in the bathroom mirror and realised it's looking at little oily? Givenchy has you covered offering powder touch-ups.
Buy While You're There: Givenchy Prism Libre Loose Powder (£39)
A Brow Master Class at Smashbox
Brows are tricky because there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. Let Smashbox help you find the perfect size, shape and density for you.
Buy While You're There: Smashbox Brow Tech Matte Pencil (£17)
A Lash Application at MAC
Fancy buying some new lashes at the MAC counter? The helpful staff with trim and apply them for you for free if you want.
Buy While You're There: MAC Lash 4 (£12).
A Smokey-Eye Tutorial at Nars
Pick up François Nars's techniques for creating the perfect smokey eye, ready to re-create as your holiday evening look.
Buy While You're There: Nars Velvet Shadow Stick (£21)
A Skincare Lesson at Kiehl's
Use your free time wisely by swotting up on all things skincare with the experts on the Kiehl's counter. Tell them your skin concerns, and they'll unpack the ingredients, products and techniques that will help you see the results you're after.
Buy While You're There: Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate (£38) ■
With all of these incredible free beauty treatments at your disposal, teamed with your in-flight beauty routine, there's no doubt you'll land feeling suitably fresh.