Planning for Project Pan and Pan that Palette 2017: some tips


I've seen quite a few posts and photos lately where people have started working out their lists for Project Pan 2017, and I know that many lasses who are doing Pan that Palette have already earmarked their target palette for next year - or at least narrowed things down to a short list.

While I personally don't have a list written down for next year, I do think it's a great idea and it's certainly something I may do in future. What I do instead, however, is start thinking about my next annual panning project at around this time each year - so I thought it may be useful to set down the processes I use to compile my list. Just in case it's helpful for anyone who's new to panning and isn't quite sure where to start.

Start with a fresh list

This one's important for me, and it's worth considering if you're doing rolling panning projects because it can help. 

Don't automatically roll over any products you haven't finished into your new panning project. If you get to the end of the year and your list is still pretty full of products that aren't finished (and won't be any time soon), don't roll them over unless you haven't yet experienced any 'panning fatigue'. 

What I normally do when this happens is select a few items that I really want to finish and keep those on my list, but the rest I put aside for later in the year when I may want to reintroduce them. So at least half my list for the new year contains different products, which means I'm less likely to get bored early on.

Start with the possible, and with the old

Each year I scan my collection and pick out which products will work for Project Pan and which ones probably won't. For example, a pigmented 8g blush that you can't hope to finish probably isn't your best option, but a half-finished bronzer that's quite sheer probably is.

If I can't decide between a few products in any particular category, I always head for the oldest one since that's the one that's most likely to go off before the others. If I start from the early stuff and work forward, I know that I'm at least getting use from the things that might turn soon and will need to be thrown out.


This is an obvious one but it's worth mentioning all the same. If you have eg three powder blushes on your list, you're unlikely to get through any of them during your panning timeframe. 

So try to pick only one product from each 'category' and work on that until it's gone (or until you've hit pan etc - whatever your goal is), then move in another similar item once you've achieved your aim. That way you won't feel overwhelmed by your options or get stuck with a bundle of products on your list that you're just not getting through. One at a time usually works best.

Include products of differing degrees of difficulty

This one's extra important, or at least it is for me. I always make sure to include a few 'easy' products on my list so that I can keep up my momentum. If all my products are in for the long haul and I'm not finishing anything, I'm more likely to get panning fatigue and give up on them before I've really started.

So make sure your list is populated with a few 'easy' products you can finish quickly, a few with 'medium' degrees of difficulty that shouldn't last more than a couple of months, and a few that will likely take you the whole year. 

As you finish things off and bring in more products (if you're planning to do this), keep an eye on what you've got and make sure that you're never over-extending yourself. That way you'll finish a couple of products each month and will continue to feel like you're making progress.

Find your happy number

Some people prefer to have smaller lists and others prefer to have a bundle of items to choose from. Once you've become more experienced at panning, you'll know what works for you and you'll find a 'happy number' that you can maintain throughout the panning period.

For me, my happy number is fifteen products (and I think that ten to fifteen products is a good starting point for anyone new to panning). Mind you, I always manage to let my list creep up to twenty, which is ok in terms of remembering what I'm using, but it does make those full update posts feel rather overwhelming ; )

Keep your list interesting

Some people prefer to only pan makeup items since those are traditionally the hardest to finish, but I prefer to include some haircare, skincare and fragrance items too. 

Not only are non-makeup items usually easier to finish (which will help maintain momentum), but my makeup collection isn't the only thing I want to reduce. For example, panning has helped me clear out my bundles of haircare, which was definitely necessary this year!

Only pan products you love (or don't hate)

One of the biggest misconceptions about panning is that the aim is to use up products you don't like so you can remove them from your collection. 

I personally wouldn't recommend this (unless you're panning something you don't like but using it for a purpose you can live with - eg crushing up a highlighter and using it to make a shimmery body lotion). There's no point ignoring products you love to use up those you hate! 

So include things you love and are happy to use every day, and pad out your list with items that you don't love but can live with. That way, panning won't feel like such a chore. 

I tend to pan things that I either don't plan to replace (eg I love them but they're not HG items for me); HG items that are too old and need to be finished; and products that aren't my favourite but that can be used in a variety of ways. You will work out which products work best for you.

Streamline where needed

This helps me when I can't decide what items I need to pan. What I'm getting at here is, don't include an eyeliner in your panning project if it's your only one and there's no real reason to finish it. I've certainly been guilty of doing this before, but I've learned that it's more satisfying to pan things you have too many of.

So if you're overloaded with blushes, aim to reduce what you have. Bases like primers and foundations are easier than powder products to finish, so it makes sense to always have some of those on your list if you need to whittle down your stores.

In sum

That's my list! I hope you found at least a couple of useful ideas in there.

Do let me  know if you have any planning tips for your projects: I'd love to hear.

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