A couple weeks ago, I finished my first Project Pan and No-Buy. A Project Pan is a period of time where I choose a handful of products with the goal of using up what I already have. During the same time, I did not purchase any makeup, skincare, or body care products. This project spanned from January to March 2018 with me personally tacking on a couple extra weeks in April. Check out my intro for a detailed explanation of what a Project Pan is and my personal reasons on participating. I provided a mid-project update halfway through it, and now I am officially ending the project and sharing what I have learned throughout the process.
#1 It takes a LONG time to finish products.
I used some of the products in my project for almost three months straight. The Benefit Cosmetics Cheekathon Palette, for example, barely looks like I made a dent in it. In addition, there are many products I do not use on a daily basis (i.e. eye shadow, lipstick) so those took a longer amount of time to go through. The purpose of the project was not to force myself to wear more makeup more often just because it was part of my project. Rather, it was to focus on using specific items and learning about my personal consumption pattern and its potential mismatch with spending habits. Moral of the story, I go through color makeup and some skincare items (i.e. face masks, eye cream) particularly slowly. Leading to point number two…
#2 I don’t need any more color makeup—I get re-inspired by “shopping my stash.”
I include details of my makeup and skincare collection. Let’s just say I have more than enough. Just like we have a closet with pieces that still have their tags on (or have been worn a handful of times), I have beauty products that have yet to be opened. Some purchases were impulsively made without intentional thought. All the while, beauty products have expiration dates! I’ve been “shopping my stash” and getting inspired by what I already have.
#3 Surprise! These are the items I actually use and go through regularly.
I was strict on not buying a single beauty item from January to March. Prior to the project, I did not intentionally stock up on items I knew that I would run out of. What I used the most quickly and kind of missed having surprised me. This less-than-five-dollars foaming bath from Dr. Teal’s was at the top of my list of what I missed using. For me, a hot bath was associated with relaxation and self-care. I had to improvise and use hair and body oil that I already had; it actually was a great use for an item that I was kind of neglecting, but I still missed the Dr. Teal’s. Other items that I went through quickly included Muji cotton squares (I sing their praises here), sunscreen, Batiste dry shampoo, Bioderma Micellar Water with a pump top, and Glossier Balm Dot Com in Original (for lip balm). Pretty simple round-up right?
#4 I do get bored without options.
I don’t think I’ll ever be a minimalist when it comes to makeup. I like having a couple options of lipsticks and different palette colors and finishes depending on my style, mood, or the occasion. Having a variety allows me to be creative. As a beauty blogger, I like to experiment and share. It all comes down to being wiser about what I decide to acquire. With that said, overturning my spending habits was the biggest lesson I learned (look at #6).
#5 Seasonal makeup drawer is better than a Project Pan.
Going through a Project Pan made me to feel stagnant when it came to my approach to beauty. I felt obligated to use only specific products even though I was more drawn to other colors, textures, and looks. I was limited in what I could do. As a result, I focused more on wardrobe styling. In reflecting back on this experience, I realized I chose the wrong items to include in the project. There are products that I did not naturally prefer and felt a chore to go through. I also selected items that were extremely difficult to make progress through in spite of regular use (hello, Cheekathon Palette!).
Instead of a Project Pan, I should set up a seasonal makeup drawer. This entails picking a small handful of items within each makeup category (i.e. blush, lipgloss, eyeshadow) and mainly using those items for a month or two. I can pull in other items to augment makeup looks. This way, I actually use what I have still having options. I’ve done a monthly makeup drawer before, and I will definitely resume it. Should I share my monthly makeup drawer regularly on Instagram?
#6 Spending smart.
Biggest lesson here. I am going to curb spending and be more mindful of what my personal preferences are. Purchase a bright lipstick or color shadow palette because it’s different and I should be more adventurous? Pass. I won’t end up using it. Hot new makeup collaboration even though I already own something similar? No way. Of course, I will always have more than I can use up…it is my job as a blogger and I want to share the good stuff! However, there is a balance. I’ll probably get more mini-sized items and pass on value sets.
I hope this was helpful for other beauty enthusiasts or those that are beginning to acquire more. Or maybe it’s just interesting to read the random ramblings of a beauty blogger. Either way, thank you for stopping by and I hope you stick around, subscribe, check my Instagram, and join this community.