Hitting the Pan

‘Hitting Pan’ is a term used within the beauty industry describing the moment a product begins to finish as indicated by seeing the bottom of a container. It applies to items, such as, eyeshadows, blushes and powders. If you think it’s easy to hit pan, then you’d be surprised, because it has taken me three years to hit pan on my first eyeshadow palette. I have only reached the end of products like my foundation, concealer, brow products, mascara and setting sprays. Then again, I use those in every routine, and are necessary for each look I create. Although, if you’re a beauty guru,, then you may find yourself with a plethora of make-up products. Their drawers are filled with the latest palettes and the sickest drops in the beauty industry to date. It obviously means that all of that make-up is a lot to consume and even harder to finish. 

Just take a look at some of the products I have almost finished. The first is the Giorgio Armani ‘Luminous Silk Foundation’ which I got last summer. It was so good that I used it every chance I could get, sometimes twice a day when I would complete different make-up looks throughout the day. Another is the Benefit ‘Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer’, I got this concealer a few months ago. It can erase any pigmentation and patch of darkness on your skin. If I am wearing a product everyday, it is easy to finish it as quickly as I got it, but lip and eye products are virtually impossible to finish with all the choices I have. There is ht Dior ‘Lip Glow’, the YSL ‘Plump-in-Colour’ and the Burberry ‘Kisses’ which have all taken me several years to finish and I am still not at the end of each lipstick.

Now, there is a community of make-up bloggers that have highlighted this issue with hoarding more make-up than they could ever use in this lifetime. I am quick to fangirl over the latest product drops, but I have become much more hesitant over every palette that is dropped, so much so that I still cannot decide which Jeffree Star Cosmetics palette I want to invest in. Gosh, there are so many to choose from, but there are so many other shades in those palettes that I already possess. Let me introduce you to the Project Panning community that aim to use every bit of their beauty products that leaves virtually no residue behind. This community give you insider information on how to finish your products, especially shades you don’t use in certain palettes, and visibly chart how long it takes them to hit pan on different products. They incorporate challenges, too. For example, they won’t purchase new products until they have finished a certain amount they already own, or limit to purchasing a certain number of products within a year. 

Why are these projects on the rise? Well, it’s not exactly a new concept, they have just been called different things over the years, through “empties” and other names. This much is evident with how YouTubers, Instagrammers and bloggers approach their empties and finished products. They have more products than they can consume and make content on the basis of having “empties” or “hitting the pan”. Through searching “Project Pan” on YouTube you will find hundreds of thousands of videos showcasing used and finished products. The “empties” gain a quite the high number in terms of views, such as Zoella’s “empties”, but these are just singular videos. The “Project Pan” videos are entire series showing how these influencers and bloggers are completing products by consuming them entirely. Ultimately, sustainability and zero waste are the huge trends at the moment, making people question their consumption. 

By encouraging panning, it allows consumers to realise how they should stop hoarding make-up, and it rewards consumers for finishing their products. The aim is to essentially become more mindful of their spending. There are even communities on Reddit about aiming to hit pan, such as the Makeup Rehab forum. As environmental issues enter the forefront of Gen Z politics, it has become an important part of fashion and beauty to make products and use products in sustainable ways, and to prevent wastage. There is a push for companies to change, but to hit pan is to make a personal change, to be wary of your consumption. 

I have already begun to limit buying certain products, and by that I mean, only buying more eye products and virtually little else. I don’t need to look any further on that one. My aim for this year has been to buy less eye make-up, I haven’t held up well so far to say the least. I have already purchased four different eyeliners. The only upside is that non of them are black. Whenever I have the urge to purchase more make-up I have given them away as gifts for my mother and sister. There is a lesson to be taken away from the Project Pan community and it is to consider whether you have the product you are picking up. So, before you pick up that black eyeliner in a different formula that has been hyped up, just think about whether you need that twentieth black liner in your collection. 

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