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What Is Project Pan?

Updated on February 21, 2013

The Basics

Project Pan is a beauty challenge. A challenge to use up some products before buying new products. There are several variations and several sets of rules. I'll go over the most common variations and rules that are used by the beauty community.

Variation: Project X Pan

This is a challenge to use a certain number of products. The most common one I've seen is Project 10 Pan, or P10P. However it is not uncommon to see 5, 15, 20 or 25 Project X Pans. Occasionally you'll come across some doing a Project 80 Pan or even a Project 100 Pan.

Variation: Project Pan for X Months

With this type of Project Pan, you set a certain time period, say one month, three months, whatever time frame works for you and you set about using up products trying to see how many you can finish within that time frame.



  • No Buy - This should be obvious, you cannot buy any products until Project Pan is over. However there are exceptions to this rule, such as being allowed to buy deodorant and such things should you run out completely.
  • 5x Samples = 1 Item - Many people have tons of samples, either from department stores or sent to them in a beauty box. In this case using up 5 samples means you can cross an item off your Project Pan list.
  • 'Hitting Pan' - Some people opt to just 'hit pan' on a makeup item rather than use it up completely. To 'hit pan' you must use enough of the product to see the pan underneath it.
  • Only Use the Items on Project Pan - If you want to finish Project Pan quickly opt to only use the items in your Project Pan. However this may not always be possible, especially with a Project 5 Pan or Project 10 Pan. In that case you may use other products but remember to use your Project Pan products regularly.


Project Pans can fail, they are a test of will power. Often our will power fails and therefore our Projects fail. It's important to stay motivated and curb our makeup and beauty appetites Here are some tips:

  • If at all possible stay away from the stores where you regularly purchase beauty products. If this is not possible do your best to stick the aisles where you won't be tempted.
  • Read blog posts and watch videos on other's Project Pan progress.
  • Avoid blog posts and videos on hauls, swatches and reviews.
  • Try to pick items that are almost used up, these will go quicker and give you a sense of progress.
  • If you can't pick items that are almost used up, try to pick some smaller items, like samples or travel sizes. These too, will go quickly and help keep you motivated to use the bigger products.
  • Persuade a friend to do their own Project Pan. Keep in touch with your progress.

Project Pan is a great way to help meet your monthly budget and clear out some of the makeup you don't reach for any more. In the end you'll have slightly more space and slightly more money!

However you choose to go about doing your own Project Pan, I wish you good luck!


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