Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hitting Pan: Beauty Badge of Courage?

Contents of one of my three UNII palettes

Back in the days before I'd heard of Project 10 Pan, I used to think that "hitting pan" (seeing that little bit of metal emerge from beneath the product due to regular use) was undesirable. I felt as if my beautiful product had become tarnished, old. And I am ashamed to admit that sometimes I'd chuck it and buy a fresh one, just so I wouldn't have to scrape my brush around the sides to avoid the shiny metal.

Since I was using buying far fewer items a couple years ago, I'd hit pan a lot more often than I do now. In fact the thought of adhering to a Project 10 Pan challenge makes me roll my eyes at myself. Even if I used a base eyeshadow as primer every day, and really packed that skin-toned color down, it would still take more than a year for me to hit pan on even one tiny eyeshadow, like MAC. So the thought of using up every last bit of TEN whole products is downright gut wrenching.

I no longer feel that hitting pan is a negative thing. It tells me I am using a well-loved product, and if I happen to repurchase that item and hit pan again, it becomes clear to me that I have discovered a holy-grail item.

In my entire makeup life, there are scant few items that have reached such lofty status.

My Bare Metal Hall of Shame:
  • Shu Uemura M Beige 800 eyeshadow. Used up completely and repurchased two times. Note, this color is now called 813. By completely, I mean that the corners actually crumbled. ♥
  • Shu Uemura M Beige 804 eyeshadow. Pan barely winking at me now; I have a backup. Discontinued. Of course.
  • Shu Uemura M Grey 943 eyeshadow. Hit significant pan and repurchased M Grey 960 (same color) the moment I learned that Shu Uemura was pulling out from US retail counters.
  • Stila Ecru eyeshadow. Used about half up and repurchased 5 backups. Discontinued. I'll probably have moved on by the time I open my first backup, but it's close to Shu M800.
  • Prescriptives Mushroom. First purchased in 1989 and still buying. Because I use makeup so slowly, I am probably on my 3rd or 4th pan since the first buy.
  • Jane Iredale PurePressed Powder. I've repurchased at least 8 times since 2000.
  • Vincent Longo Water Canvas Cream-to-Powder foundation in Porcelain. I have used up every last bit of at least 12 pots of this product in the last 10 years. 
I've made dips in other products and thrown away still more, but the rest of my products are waiting for me to enjoy them again, so I think I will.

How often to you hit pan, and if you use something up, do you ever repurchase?


  1. I don't think I've ever finished on a beauty product, other than gloss or mascara. The closest I've gotten is a really big dip in my Bobbi Brown Navajo base shade. However, I Usually "10-pan" away all my skin-care samples and products so I don't accumulate too many. I agree that it's kind of a makeup badge of honor to have hit pan =P

  2. I love hitting pan, it's exciting to me! I've finished many foundations, lipglosses, and mascaras over time, but I don't think I've found an eyeshadow that I've actually used everyday to hit pan on

  3. I've currently hit pan on my Leggy Eyeshadow from Benefit. Other than that, I think I just have far too many pieces to be hitting anything anytime soon. I do, however, finish off skin care items on a fairly regular basis.

    My problem is that I can't resist the pretty with makeup items and I'm always looking for the newest technology in skin care, so I'm always moving on to something new before I have a chance to finish what I've got. It's a sickness.

  4. It sounds like we are all in the same boat: easy enough to finish mascara, foundation, lip products, but really tough to finish eyeshadows.

    I also use my skincare products completely before moving on, and I often repurchase the same ones. I am not nearly as fickle with my skincare.

  5. I go through lots of basic, everyday products like brown kohl eyeliners (like MAC's Teddy) and lipliners quickly (Trish McEvoy's "Barely There" is a staple) and in the past used up a few Bobbi Brown Sand foundation sticks, but usually by the time I finish a particular foundation I want to try out something new. I do love hitting pan because it makes me feel I really got my money's worth and I feel less wasteful! I don't wear shadow everyday and have quite a few, so it's definitely hard for me to hit pan on shadows :) I love Chantecaille's Granite :)

  6. I haven't hit pan in the longest time. I have used up a couple of lip liners though.

  7. wow *bows down* you are queen of the hg products! holy cow woman! I think I need to try this vincent longo foundation now that 2 people recommend it.

  8. <3 your blog! Gave you an award this morning!

  9. Hmmm- have hit pan on a few things! I've been through a million MAC woodwinked shadows. Pan on a NARS blush at the moment. I repurchase sometimes if I truly love it. But there is always something new....

  10. MM, Chante Granite is the best!

    Christina, do try Vincent Longo. It can be frustrating because it's gets crumbly and bouncy toward the end,which is nigh inexcusable in a tiny pot that costs almost $60, but I keep buying it with every price hike (it was $42 when I started using it).

  11. LauraJean, thanks! That was really sweet of you. I'm still thinking about your Revlon Red lips!

  12. productdoctor, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Woodwinked in the pan, but it looks evil on me. That hasn't stopped me from repurchasing (and giving it away) at least three times. Maybe I need to pain my walls or get some pillows covered in Woodwinked so I can get it out of my system. I even love the name. ;)

    Oh, yes, and there will always be something new. Blogging makes sure we know about that, lol.

  13. I've hit pan on MAC's Nylon, which I use as a high lighter for my inner eye area on most days. I think that is honestly the only thing I can recall hitting the pan on. I still adhere to the "it's so pretty I don't want to use it". Chantecaille's Turtle palette is still untouched, I just received Topkapi, and RBR kills me with their cute intertwined R's. I need an intervention - consider this a call for help! ;)

  14. Jenn, I know exactly what you mean. It broke my heart to swipe my brush across Chantecaille's Tiger in the Wild palette (though thank god I did because it was worth messing up the little faces), and I have not yet touched Les Dauphins. Strangely enough I was OK with wiping out RBR's interlocking Rs.

  15. Great post! :D

    I've hit pan on several Laura Mercier eyeshadows (also a fan of Topaz), NARS Orgasm blusher and pretty much all of my bronzers - I always use them up by the end of the summer, but then I use more bronzer than I'd ever use blush. Oh and Bourjois Rose D'Or blush - I've repurchased this twice actually - one of the prettiest blushers I've ever come across (pink with subtle gold sheen). Mind you, as you know from my recent post I don't have as much to choose from ;-) and tend to use the same things til they're gone, then try something new. That may all change though!
    Nic xx


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