On decluttering and starting my own "Project Pan" :)

While browsing some Youtube videos about recovering from shopping and makeup addiction, I was recommended a video about "updates on project pan". I found it interesting, especially to reinforce a "no buy" period, so I decided to give it a go.


It’s a challenge to finish up your beauty products, so you hit ‘the pan’. 
The main goal of this project is to shift the focus on what we already own instead of constantly purchasing and trying out new things. That being said, is there difference between simply finishing a product or doing the project pan? Not really, but the main difference is that you consciously decide to first, finish a particular product and second, not to buy anything similar while you’re using it up. That way you’ll increase your awareness around beauty products which will change how you perceive them forever. 


The biggest problem with beauty products is that it takes us five seconds to buy them, but it can take us anywhere from 3 months to 3 years to use them up.
It’s crazy if you think about it. And it’s even crazier we’re not conscious of it.
The project pan opens up your eyes about how much use we get from one product. We may think a small blush will not last long, but in reality, it’s quite the opposite.
I’m even seeing the trend of making blushes and bronzers bigger, so we feel we get more for our money, but honestly, who is using this stuff up? Maybe makeup artists and beauty influencers, but I don’t know anyone close to me who uses an insane amount of makeup.
So ask yourself: when was the last time you finished a nail polish? Or an eyeshadow palette? Or even a lipstick? And if you do finish something up – how frequently does that happen?
When we bring in awareness and we consciously start focusing on using what we own, we start shopping differently – we think at least twice if not more, before buying it.
And because we know long it will take us to use something up, we also have to make sure we really love it in order to justify buying it.


  • You’ll save money: when you start focusing on products you want to finish and at the same time you stop buying new products until you need to replace them, it will save you some money, if not a lot!
  • Less decision making: if you’re one of those people that have to decide each day, which cream, perfume, blush or lipstick to use and you find it a bit stressful, then this is good news for you. Now you don’t have to think about which product to use, because you already decided in advance.
  • Sense of accomplishment: this might seem weird to some people, but there comes this amazing feeling when you use something up or hit the pan. And the more you do it, the more you want to feel like finishing your products because it gives you a sense of achievement.
  • Less waste: buying beauty products that we don’t use up and we keep replacing with new shinier things, is very wasteful. Imagine how much less waste there would be if we only bought things once we would completely use them up.
  • You’ll learn a few new tricks: beauty products can be more versatile than we think – an eyeshadow can be used as a highlighter or a contour powder, and even as an eyeliner. Lipstick can be used as a cream blush, and so on. Once we make a commitment to use something up, we suddenly start experimenting with that product more and that leads us to learn a few new things.


If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, here are some tips that will help you be more successful, and also make sure you’ll enjoy it more:

  • Pick only items you love: there is no need to force yourself to use something you hate. Instead, you can repurpose that product or give it to someone who will appreciate it. 
  • Pick one item in each category only: if you decided to hit pan on a blush, pick only one blush! You may be eager to use a lot of your things but trust me; this works best if you focus on one particular product at the time. If you want to use up multiple items that serve the same purpose, it will take you much longer and you’ll enjoy it less.
  • Be mindful about purchasing a new version of the product you’re trying to use up: I used to get really excited when I was close to finishing a product, so I went out and bought a new version of it. That resulted in me being disappointed that I had to continue using the old one, so I was rushing through it. On the other hand, having a replacement can be a great source of motivation, but we have to do it mentally only. That means that you can browse and find your new thing, but without purchasing it. And then, once you finish the product you buy it! This will feel like a reward and you’ll enjoy the panning more.
  • Decide if you want to use up the item entirely or do you want to hit the pan: when using up skincare, body products, creams, foundations and perfumes I always use every drop. But with powdered makeup, that can be a bit tricky. It can take us years, yes you heard me right, years to finish a certain product and in that case, I decide hitting the pan is enough for me to replace it, especially if I had it for a while.
  • Look at the dates: some people don’t know that cosmetics come with an expiration date. So if you want to pan successfully, look at the dates to help you decide which products to focus on first. You can also use dates as your finish line: if you see that a particular item will expire soon, but there is still a lot of it left, commit to using it as much as you can before it expires. Indeed, sometimes the product is still good even after the date, so you can extend that line for a few months, but if something is off, smells bad or the consistency isn’t right, then just trash it.
  • Put similar products out of sight: if you’re trying to use up your face cream completely, but you have a few in your cabinet, I recommend that you put others into the storage, so you don’t have to worry about them. And then when you finish your intended product, you can bring them back.
  • You can name your project pans and set up a deadline: this is not necessary in order to pan successfully, but it can be a lot of fun for some people. You can do seasonal challenges or even travelling challenges, when I’m going somewhere I take products I want to use up with me in hopes of not bringing them back because there would be none left.
  • You can share it online: there are a lot of different communities out there that love sharing their progress of panning.
  • Include nail polishes as well: when was the last time you finished a nail polish? It probably takes us years and usually, we get tired of that colour and we buy something new. So try committing to one colour (or maybe two colours) and see how you like it.
  • Think about other non-beauty products you can use up: my friend decluttered a bunch of pencils, and because I use them daily I took them and I’m now using them us up as I go. It’s very gratifying for me. Other non-beauty product you can use up: food, paper, notebooks and journals, stationery, books, cleaning products, and so on.


Below are some things that I plan to use up in 2023:

  • Samples, I have tons of samples from several brands and these tend to go bad really quickly if not used within their timeframe, due to little product present. Samples have expiration dates too, and once opened it shouldn't take you much from a couple of days to a week to finish that particular sample up. Last year I decided to get a mini advent calendar of stuff from a kbeauty store and guess what? I ended up with even more samples!! I gifted some to friends according to their needs, but I still have a lot left....
  • I'm still deciding which bronzer I'm gonna try to pan this year, I have 3 atm (WHY? I guess I'll blame being gyaru for that one haha)
  • A Fenty beauty foundation that's wayyyyy too many shades lighter for me, that I got for Halloween to use as 'white makeup' or closest to it for my Gerard Way cosplay. I have a different Fenty foundation in a darker color and I plan to mix them both accordingly to summer/autumn/winter 2024...
  • Lipstick and lip products I got in 2021/2022 and I haven't got much use of them (i.e weird colors, not "every day" colors, etc)
  • My highlighter palette from BH, which I love, and I tried to replace it to no avail, and is still looking and feeling fine on my skin.
  • Zara and Juicy Couture perfumes... I have too many.
  • Lush gel shower products in general. I've had the Snow fairy shower gel since forever, same as the jelly soapies that I forgot the name, or the Lord of Misrule gel, among other. I also have a shower gel from The Body Shop that is not getting enough use.
  • Face masks! I have a lot of them since forever, some might actually be expired, and also, the ones I didn't use it yet might be endangered too. Plus they also clutter the planet as they are a 1 use only thing, so it's better to stick to other products containing same active principles as those (as seen in kbeauty mostly!)
  • Brow products in general. Since I got mine microbladed I kinda stopped using them on a daily basis. Maybe I can gift them to my sister or a friend, but since they are opened and used, I don't feel so comfy on sharing them to others due to hygiene reasons.
  • Ultra Facial Cream & Toner from Kiehl's. I've had them for a while and I love them, but other products got me distracted of using them. I'm afraid they're gonna go bad if I don't.
  • And lastly, I have a daily reviving concentrate from Kiehl's that I'm afraid it got past its expiration date, and I'm gonna repurpose it into hair oil, which is something I have consulted with Kiehl's salespeople before and they did give me the heads up (as in it's okay to use is for colored hair, and it's not gonna be damaging or whatever).
I'm planning on using all of them and so far I am getting great progress done here, but I know that I probably won't pan most of them (with the exception of samples and minis, that is).
I can also save up all the pots/containers from stuff from Lush, Kiehl's and a bunch more to get discount coupons in the future when/if I decide to repurchase some of them.

As much as I love decluttering and getting rid of things that I don’t want to own, there is a beauty in using things up. It makes us appreciate them more and makes us a much better consumer.

So if you haven’t already, I would encourage you to try it – simply pick products that you want to use up and commit to using them up. It’s that easy!



  1. I looove the fact that you brought this topic up <3 I've been doing this for a good years & I've been feeling so "clean" in a way. I don't like too many stuff, just the essentials that I use all the time. My biggest problem though is lipsticks I had bought & obviously never use because I only like to use a particular colour all the time, so I really feel bad throwing them away ;-; Loved your list of things you added, you gave me more ideas <3

    1. I totally get you! 🥺 Especially with brands like MAC and such... Each lipstick was pretty expensive already ;-; and I feel really bad for throwing away stuff just cuz I overhoarded so much and it expired before I could fully used all of them... T_T I knew I needed a change, starting with buying less and using everything I have, making sure I don't forget what I already have! I'm starting to do the same with clothes, I'll make a post in the future :) It's really fun to replace the "going shopping" in online sites with "going shopping" in once's closet instead, so I figured it's gonna be the same with makeup 💞 Thank you for reading til the end, cutie! Your comments always give me lifeeee ^^ 💖

    2. Are you kidding? I was waiting for so long for your posts ;-; so I'm really really happy you felt this way <3 There's something so satisfying about decluttering etc, maybe it's also feeling more mindful about what we've got? I think so. Love your journey <3

  2. Your collection is so cute <3 Definitely the vanity of a gal. I have the same Sailor Moon compact. I have an old Lime Crime Palette I'd like to use up but it's too beautiful. It was their old purple tin packaging they had once. I also have a stash of samples I've been using up. Recently I finally bought more Lush and body washes cause I used up the ones I have!



Comments are encouraged ♥ ♡