Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Unintentional Project Pan

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I guess you could call this being in a makeup rut, but I am going with unintentional project pan. That sounds more noble and interesting, doesn't it?

In case you're not familiar with the concept of "project pan," it's when people challenge themselves to use up enough of a makeup product (or multiple products) to "hit pan" - i.e. to reach the metal pan in the bottom of the product. I haven't been able to figure out where it originated, whether it was a specific blogger or in a community like Makeup Alley. Can anyone clue me in?

In my case, I realized this month that I was using the same handful of products day after day, though I hadn't chosen them deliberately to reach any particular goals. Some are things that I've vaguely thought I should try to use up, but I didn't vow to eschew all other makeup or anything. Most likely the reason I've been sticking with these few options is that I've been working from home, and most days I barely bother to wear makeup at all. When I do, I just grab a few things that I know are easy and effective, and that's that. I'm sure I will snap out of my rut project pan before too long, especially when I go back to working in an office (by the way, I finally got a job - temporary, but still a relief!). For now, these things are working for me, and I'm not sick of them yet, so I'm just going to go with it. Every now and then I put on a different lip color or blush, but for the most part it's been the things pictured here.

Here are the products in my unintentional project pan, listed clockwise from top left:

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (sample)

I'm going to take a photo of this mascara on my lashes soon as an example of something I really like. It's light and fluffy and adds volume and length. It works well for me. This is the second mini-tube of this I've had, both of which came from subscription boxes. Sephora sells this "travel size" for $12, though, if you want to try it for a smaller price. Still more than a full size, good, drugstore mascara, though, and I'm not convinced it's that much better.

The Balm Stainiac

I should really write a dedicated review of this stuff, since I've been using it for years, and I love it. Since my lips are fairly dark/pink naturally, it nicely enhances the color while still looking natural. I don't really use it on my cheeks, because I find liquid blushes difficult to blend evenly (though this is more of a thin gel than a liquid).

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze

I've had this for ages and only recently (when I posted it on Instagram) remembered how much I like it. It's easy to use, since I just apply it with my fingers, and the shimmer makes it look multidimensional when blended from lashline into the crease. Some days I use Barely Branded (photos here) instead, for a more subtle look. If I'm going to be going out anywhere, I will use primer under Color Tattoos, but if I think I am going to be sitting home most of the day, I won't bother. Here are some primers I've tried recently.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Fearless (sample)

I've used this card sample at least 30 times and there's still some left. That goes to show you how incredibly long it would take to finish a full size blush. Has anyone ever done it? Tarte calls Fearless "pink coral," but I would has thought of it as more of a bubblegum pink. Maybe a tiny bit warmer than than, but not much. In fact, I thought it would look weirdly fake on me, but it's actually very natural and flattering. I don't know about the 12-hour claim. I never remember to check my blush at the end of the day to see if it's still there. I don't many (if any) completely matte powder blushes, which is why I've been drawn to this sample, I think. I might have to replace it with something similar when it's gone.

Avon Ultra Luxury Brow Liner in Blonde

Of the many, many eyebrow products I've tried (most of which are swatched and reviewed here), this is the one that I've found the easiest and quickest to use, and the most natural looking on me, regardless of my hair color. Even though my hair is medium brown right now, this works perfectly. Magic. (Look at the stub of the last pencil I used up. Aren't you impressed?)

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles in Fair

Almost empty! Mini review here. I like that it doesn't crease much, but since the color isn't quite right, I don't know if I will buy it again.

e.l.f. Tone Correcting Powder in Cool

Reviewed here. I use this to set the concealer and just generally all over my face. This stuff mattifies, but the effects don't last long in the summer, so I prefer to use something else if I'm actually going to be out in the sweaty summer world.

That's it! I expect I will be finishing a few of these before the end of the summer, so that will be a fun side effect of my unintentional project. Then I will have to think of what else I want to fixate on.

(Note: I'm playing around with using ShopStyle affiliate links, since it gives me more options than just using Amazon's. I can pick out the cheapest place to buy things, for instance - though that is often still Amazon. Let me know if there are any technical glitches if you end up clicking any of the links.)


  1. Good job! You almost obliterated that elf powder, ha :) I'm still going strong on my Maybelline Bad to the Bronze, but this stuff lasts forever - even with nearly daily use, I doubt I'll be able to finish the entire jar before the end of the year. I think 'getting good use out of something' is enough for me, I don't have to scrape it clean :D

    1. Yes, the e.l.f. powder has gone surprisingly fast.With the Color Tattoos, I find that they get a little stiff/dried up on the surface after a while, so I have to wipe off a layer to get to fresh stuff every few months. That makes them go quicker, for better or for worse!

  2. I LOVE BAD TO THE BRONZE. I actually hit pan on it over a year ago (after just a year of use!), then neglected it until this summer. I've recently rediscovered it, and I tell you, it is the only shadow I have that actually stands up to East Coast humidity. I might actually finish it this year!

    I don't think there's anything wrong with a makeup rut, by the way. Sometimes it's easy and comforting to use the same products repeatedly. Not every day has to be a wildly creative makeup adventure...or so I tell myself.

    1. Ugh, I managed to use "actually" three times in a single short paragraph. This is what happens when I comment from my phone. D:

    2. I don't know why I had ignored it for so long, but it's really easy and pretty. I definitely need primer if I'm going out with it (because I do with everything), but even with just a mediocre primer, it seems to last better than most.

      I'm mostly happy in my rut, though sometimes I think about all the crap I have sitting around not being used. But so long as it doesn't go bad, it probably doesn't matter.

  3. I've 'used up' a few blushes in my life, because 1 broke and I used the scavenged remains and I lost the other. 😛

    I realized that elf products are really small, with very little product, which is actually a good thing because no make up addict finishes any product ever

    1. I guess I did break a blush and throw it out, years ago! I don't mind small sizes when things aren't overprices, especially products like nail polish that I will probably never use up. (Top coat, on the other hand . . . )

  4. Lol @ "noble"

    Man, your point about blush nearly sent me into a panic. I would so love to hit pan (and also know the origin of the pan thing myself) but that's a pipe dream at this point. Cream blushes in small pots seem easier to finish though! I don't know what it is but maybe it's that we can squish the texture better and seeing a physical indentation is encouraging.

    I've been working at home too and actually experimenting quite a bit with all the stuff now that no one can point and laugh at the clown horror show that goes on sometimes. It's quite liberating! I used to get into makeup ruts more during 9-to-5s.

    1. I know what you mean. Is that card maybe 5% of a regular blush? If that? And I'm guessing ~40 uses for me. I wish I had started counting at the beginning, but I was expecting to use it about 5 times.

      You make a good point about ruts and working, too. I guess I was in a different kind of rut when I was working 60+ hours a week this past fall and winter. I'd put out a selection of things that I planned to use for the next week, but then didn't get around to choosing new ones for a month, usually. But it was a bit more variety. I definitely put of some garish lipstick every now and then when I'm staying home, though.


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