Project Pan Revenge; learning from panning.

Why would I want to project pan?

When I first heard the term project pan and the concept around that I thought it was a bit ludicrous. Why would anybody want to hit pan on any of their makeup products,? I thought it made the makeup look ugly; as opposed to being the way it was when I first bought it. I also thought ‘why would anybody force themselves to use something up when they have so many other choices?’ I was in denial and these were the delusions of a misguided makeup addict who had yet to realise the scale of the problem I had.

It all started with the Manizer sister’s palette

This palette was one of my first non-drugstore purchases when I rediscovered my love of makeup. I had been wanting to try Mary Loumaniser and discovered that The Balm was releasing a holiday palette with the three sisters together. I waited patiently for it to be released and even had a twitter rant when Debenham’s got their release dates wrong. Eventually, I finally got my hands on it just before Christmas of 2015.

Yes, you heard me right, 2015. This palette was over two years old and I had only used a fraction of the highlighter let alone touched the blush or bronzer. This was the moment I realised I had too much makeup and needed to take stock of my collection. I had already been working on using up a Freedom contour palette that I really liked and decided that I needed to start ‘project panning’ in order to make a dint in my makeup.

Makeup going to waste

I hate the idea of waste. I grew up in the 1980’s;  where things were never left to waste and ‘throwaway fashion’ was unheard of. This was on account that people had to make the best with what they had. Never wanting for anything but I was also aware of the value of things. I made sure I got my ‘money’s worth’ out of stuff. As a teen, I remember making a £5 pair of jeans last for years, even when they had holes in the knees. I still have the oversized jumper that I used to wear with them over twenty years later.

Fast forward back to the end of 2017 and I realised I was going against my principles with my makeup collection. I bought makeup due to boredom. The hype of products dragged me into purchasing. It also did not help that I believed every Beauty Guru at the time and feel for the techniques they employ to push products onto viewers. I discovered the fabulous Kimberly Clarke and anti hauls and realised I needed to make a change.

Mindful Shopping

I was not using a fraction of the makeup that I owned and that made me feel guilty and sad at the same time. Makeup is meant to be used up. It is a consumable product that has an expiration date. Although I feel that expiration dates can be taken with a slight pinch of salt, I also realised that some of these products would start going off if I did not take action.

I did a massive declutter and put myself on a ‘mindful spending initiative’ in order to curb the monster that lives inside of me and will buy makeup at the drop of a hat. Starting to branch out into skincare and used my money to invest in good quality skincare that would make me feel pampered, this helped take my mind off buying makeup. I started my first project pan in July 2017 with quite a number of products; not just intending to pan them, I wanted to use them up. I soon realised that makeup is not easily defeated.

Makeup takes ages to use up

This came as quite a big shock to me. I was under the impression that a couple of months of daily use would result in me using everything up. Again I was bitterly wrong. Ten months down the line and I have just used up the whole of the highlighter and hit pan on the blush. Hitting pan on the blush was a pure accident; I tapped my brush too hard on the packaging and one side of the pan broke off. This breakage bothers me as it is not traditional and is the result of using too big of a brush with a smaller pan of the product; you cannot dig a neat hole into it.

One of the products I spent ages trying to use up was the Essence 2 in 1 eyeshadow primer. As I said in my empties post this took a considerable time to use up and made me realise that makeup takes months and months of constant use to finally use it all. I looked at the primers I had and realised that I have three which would take about a year and a half to use up, why did I have so many when one will do?

This got me thinking; how am I ever going to use up all the eyeshadows I have? My eyeshadow collection is probablythe largest part of my makeup collection and takes up considerable room. I have made the decision to stop buying and start using my collection.

Perseverance is the key

It has been a long journey and I have had a few slip ups. However, I am glad I have shown persistence and kept going with it. I have been doing more shopping my stash and rotating around my eye shadow palettes. I know that I have all the eye shadow I need in my life. Why do I need any more?

Also, I have been reducing the number of first impressions and swatch videos I have been watching on YouTube; to reduce the temptation. I feel that these little changes have helped to reduce the desire to spend on makeup. It has reduced added clutter in my makeup collection.

A sense of achievement

When I finished the Mary Loumaniser completely I had a great sense of pride. Having used the whole product up and could finally move on to another highlighter in my collection. Still having half of the blush and a lot of the bronzer left; I might have a break from it for a while and come back to the blush later. Having got my ‘monies worth’. I would be happy to put it in the bin. After all, I bought it just for the highlight and the blush; I will not disappointed.

Documenting the products I have used up in my empties posts has given me a new lease on life. Instead of searching for new stuff to buy; I am focusing on different ways of using up all the things I have from lipstick to body lotion. This has encouraged me to take care of myself more. Whereas before I would not put hand cream on; now I make sure I use it and not just leave it around.

Project pan has taught me that we have so much stuff in society. It can often be overwhelming at times with too many choices everywhere. Often, instead of indulging this ‘new is always better’ mentality; it is better to go back to what you have already and rediscover the hidden gems in your collection.

What are your opinions on project pan; do you think it is a useful exercise or is it a waste of time? As always, let me know what you think in the comments as I love having a natter with you all.

Ciao for now beauties xx

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Panning products is so hard! I love using stuff up though I think I get the same feeling from finishing a product as I do from buying one but I’m in the same position with makeup really- I declutter fairly regularly and rotate my products but I’ve still probably got more than I can ever use before they expire


    1. MrsT says:

      I am getting withdrawal symptoms from not being able to buy any eyeshadow palette there are some gorgeous ones out there but I have far too much of the same thing. I have every intention to rotate my palettes but I always end up going back to the same ones. Maybe it’s time I got rid of the ones that are not being used.


  2. Zakeeyak says:

    This is so true! I love my makeup – I want to keep it all just to have it, but it’s really something to use up and enjoy. It’s like a scented candle – limited, but wonderful while it lasts. It’s so hard to use things up and yet I keep buying more… It’s so inspiring to read your blog and know that I’m not alone in this addiction and that it is possible to break the cycle.


    1. MrsT says:

      I also have a collection of scented candles that I haven’t used and I have to make myself use them. I think the high you get when you buy new products it’s not as good as the satisfaction of getting your money’s worth out of something. Everybody nowadays is after instant gratification and project panning doesn’t really go hand in hand with that. I have been about three months without buying an eyeshadow palette and it really is starting to kill me. The addiction is real.


  3. Kimberley Clarke was such an eye opener and inspiration to me. I was spiraling at the time, trying to keep up with all the new releases and she helped bring me back down to earth.
    I too am amazed at how long it takes to pan items! It really makes me rethink purchases.


    1. MrsT says:

      I was falling down the rabbit hole and believing everything gurus said. It wasn’t till I discovered Kimberly that I started to realise the problem. Things like eyeshadow are impossible to use up


      1. I’ve started thinning out the herd. The amount of shadows I’ve duplicates of are criminal !


  4. Chelsea Murray says:

    Great post I don’t wear makeup often enough to do a project pan but I struggled with this issue too and managed to downsize my collection a lot but same as you my eyeshadow is the biggest part of my collection but I am now more mindful of what I buy


  5. Ann F. Snook-Moreau says:

    I love this! Lots of people keep buying the newest palettes and products that are honestly not that different from stuff they already have. Good for you for kicking your makeup buying habit!


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