LIFE | Project Pan

Hyacinth Girl project pan

I’ve been thinking about embarking on a Project Pan for a while now. I even filmed a video about it the other week, but after watching it back I hated how I looked in it, so it has since been deleted. You can have that video in word form in this blog post, instead.

Project Pan is where you select a certain number of beauty products with the express intention of ‘panning’ them. Panning can mean either hitting pan, or using them up entirely.

This concept of having to actively try to use a product up runs counter to the average person’s experience of makeup. Most people will have one foundation; they use it until it’s gone, and then buy another one. This is not how it works in the beauty blogging world, and so we have to set our minds to finishing products.

It does highlight the excess of beauty blogging, and that’s why I want to get into it. ‘No-buys’ don’t really work for me, and you’ll know about my recent Depression Hauls. Starting a Project Pan will hopefully help me minimise my makeup collection and rationalise my ‘need’ to buy more.

There are ‘panners’ who do 100 Pan projects, which is absurd and insurmountable to me—it would be like if I decided to run a marathon in December when I currently run about once a year. Sometimes I watch these panners’ videos and they’re showing projects and going “ugh I hate this, I never wear pinks, I just want to get this gone” which is not what my Project Pan is going to be like.

If you’ve got an old as fuck chunky glittery pink cream blush stick from ELF that you spend one dollar on… throw it out. If you’ve got fifteen cherry red lipsticks and you know you don’t like wearing cherry red… maybe keep one and give the others away to people who will use them.

If you’ve got a bunch of almost-empty products that you quite like but have fallen by the wayside in favour of something newer… that’s when it makes sense to try ‘pan’ them, in my opinion. So that’s exactly what I’m doing. A Project 7 Pan, with a mix of old and new, mostly old, and all things I know I like enough to want to continue using them.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh

This is, I believe, what they call a “gimme”—it’s practically empty so will take no time at all to use up. I just need to actually use it! It smells like me from three years ago, which is fine, and although I don’t care for keeping my fragrances seasonally-appropriate, it’s nice and Spring-y.

Antipodes Rejoice Light Facial Day Cream

This is getting old and near the end of the tube, I love it, I have a backup somewhere, I have far too many moisturisers lying around.

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation

This one’s tricky—I have an unopened backup of this foundation, because at one point it was my absolute favourite holy grail blah blah, but the colour is a little too dark for me. I think I need to get through this tube before it goes off, and because I can never finish any foundations, and God knows I have more than enough of them.

Korres Greek Yoghurt Primer

This was a deluxe sample from Sephora not that long ago but I can’t find it anywhere on any site that Korres is sold, including their own. Was Sephora just dumping their excess deluxe sample stock on us poor unsuspecting suckers? Definitely. I actually like this primer, which is saying a lot because I’ve never really seen a difference from a primer before, but considering I can’t even repurchase this if I wanted to, I might as well get it gone. (It also smells kinda weird.)

Urban Decay Lipstick in Protest

This is one of the older Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks, and despite the fact they relaunched the line with 120 shades, this is not one of them. Just my luck. I mean, I have enough pinky brown lipsticks already, I don’t need to repurchase this one, but now there’s no hope, so again, I might as well get it gone. I also don’t think I’ve ever used up a lipstick before?

NARS Pressed Powder in some kind of light shade


Another “gimme”, if I remember to use it. This powder has been going for a long, long time. I have others. This one deserves to retire.

MAC LE Brooke Shields Bronzer in Scone

Remember when I got this?? I love this!! I don’t want to use this up entirely, but I do want to see if I can hit pan on it. I was tossing up between trying to pan this or the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil bronzer, but that one’s closer to pan and I need an incentive to use this one because I neglect it a bit. It’s really hard to photograph how far a powder is from hitting pan, but here’s a closeup nonetheless:


So! Seven products I probably shouldn’t have any trouble using up. I’d like to clarify, however, that I probably wear makeup one day out of seven each week, so this might not happen as quickly as you’d expect. I guess I’ll keep you guys updated.

Have you ever tried a Project Pan? What products do you find the easiest and hardest to use up?

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  • Sophie ♥

    I’ve not heard of this before but now I wanna give it a go-goodness knows I have enough things that do need using up. Good luck with yours!

    • Thanks Sophie, I think it will be fun!

  • Salomi

    I have been binge watching some small YouTubers who are serious about using their beauty products and have a penchant for rotating through several projects at once. It is shocking indeed to know how much time it takes to finish up a single product. I don’t have collection per se, but I am trying to be more conscious of my consumption patterns and having 5 lipsticks in a similar “nude” shade doesn’t help matters! This ( Reddit page gave me the perspective I needed to stop buying more and enjoy what I have.

    Good luck on your first Project Pan! Looking forward to your updates posts.

    • It’s interesting how many smaller YouTubers focus on using things up, but once they get more popular they switch to just talking about new stuff all the time.
      Reddit has helped me cut my spending heaps too!

      • Salomi

        Couldn’t agree more! Its interesting how our spending habits have changed over the decades since our parents’ generation. And seeing how popular social media drives consumption patterns across various demographies….it’ll be so cool to track spending habits of millennials for research.

  • I’m so flighty & disloyal with my beauty stuff, something like this is a real challenge for me. I get sick of things & find something else shiny to distract myself. I was so excited to hit pan on my Nars Orgasm blush, but it’s still going & it’s a half-size giveaway one. It’s never going to end!

    Body & hair products are generally easiest for me to use up – if I’m close to the end of something, I throw it in my swimming bag & it gets used that way. Then I can have the new stuff at home & not feel like I’ve wasted anything.

    • I think I’ve only ever hit pan on one blush, and I got rid of it once I bought fancier ones (it was an old rimmel one, if I recall). Blush and eyeshadow is so hard to use up!