Panned Palettes An ode to Pan Porn

I recently stumbled upon a makeup movement. The current landscape of the beauty world is all about excess, or as close to excess as you can get without crossing the line of probably needs an intervention. We revel in newness; maybe this palette will be my holy grail, my new ride or die, or this concealer will definitely be my perfect shade, oh my god that color, look over there it’s so shiny! Don’t worry, I do it too. I refresh my page for new launches, I obsessively stalk my favorite brand’s social media pages, my dream shopping cart if I won the lottery and felt OK with spending $20,000 on a bunch of makeup with a single click of a button is just sitting there, waiting for the day I do win the lottery. I don’t need them but boy do I want them.

But let’s get real. So many of us have a bunch of stuff that just sits there not getting the use it (and you) truly deserves. We buy things and use them only a handful of times and toss it aside when the next best thing falls into our laps. We love that thing briefly and once again move along. This could be a statement on our societal obsession with consumerism but let’s just talk makeup.

I recently went through a big vanity clear out; anything old and unused that I hadn’t touched in months or years (gross, I know) got thrown into the trash. I was brutal and it was painful. Not because I loved these products so much that I wanted to hold on to them forever, but because my mind instantly went to how much money I’d just thrown away. We’re talking hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars right into the trash. It felt like such a waste. Of course an obvious solution might be to donate what you don’t love using right away, but how often do we tell ourselves that we’ll set it aside to use it later? After too long it becomes too old to use and too old to donate. It is a waste. This is the problem this little makeup movement is founded on.

You’ll find on instagram, twitter, pinterest and reddit that suddenly there’s been an influx of pan porn. (Side note, if you’ve grown up on the internet like I have the phrase “pan porn” probably didn’t initially make you think of makeup and sounded kind of gross but don’t worry, it’s safe.) Pan porn, or panned palettes & products, is simple showing off what you have actually used. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous and/or just want to keep your wallet a little less sparse, there’s Project Pan and #panthatpalette. This one is a bit harder for those of us with less self-control; the premise is to pan or use up products before you go on to buy anything new. That’s right, no new purchases. You gotta stick with what you’ve got. Project Pan is definitely a little bit easier for those with an already extensive makeup collection. I’m personally between the two. I tend to naturally gravitate towards things I love and have panned, used up, and purchased the same products over and over. I also probably shouldn’t buy more until I really need to.

I’ve already talked about the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette in my Recent Favorites post so I won’t go into that. I love it, hit pan on it, and I’m still working my way through it. But the Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette? Oh boy. I’ve already gone through one of these in its entirety and purchased a second. I’m on my way to maybe buying a third. I say maybe because for each palette I’ve had, Incandescent Light is the first one I use up. It’s my holy grail highlighter. I never want to be without it. In the pan it looks as if it may have some glitter running through, but trust me when I say it does not translate on the cheeks. Rather it’s a softly lit glow with the perfect amount of sheen. It doesn’t emphasize fine lines and I often like to layer it over highlighters that end up on the chunkier side. It has this weird, magical ability to fill in any gaps and tone down a too in-your-face highlight. If I keep picking up the palette and only repurchasing when all three shades are gone I’m without it for longer than my little beauty heart can handle. In the future I may just purchase individuals of Incandescent Light and Dim Light (my favorite shade for a subtle warmth if I’m not in a bronzer mood) rather than the palette itself.

My very first (and for a while, only) ABH palette was the Maya Mia. A collaboration between Anastasia and Maya Janeska, it was hyped everywhere. When I got my hands on it I couldn’t put it down and used it just about everyday for months. It’s still one of my go-to palettes for my basic shades, and I even occasionally use Warm Taupe to fill in my brows. Right before I purchased the Modern Renaissance palette I was very close to getting the individual version of Warm Taupe.

Two of my most used up face products are the Nyx 3C Conceal Correct Contour Palette in Light and the Maybelline Fit Me powder in Translucent. I’ll be honest, the Nyx palette isn’t the best ever but it works well for my purpose. It’s a thick, slightly waxy consistency but is not full coverage; I wouldn’t use this if I wanted a good concealer.  The yellow shade is my go-to for minimizing redness in my skin and color correcting red marks. Because it has that waxy consistency it doesn’t move around when layered under foundation. I also like to use the salmon shade next to it as an under eye neutralizer, and the darkest shade as contour occasionally. The Maybelline Fit Me powder is one of my absolute favorite drugstore powders for setting foundation. Before I purchased Translucent I used (and used up) the shade Porcelain and while I like Translucent, I prefer Porcelain and will probably repurchase it once I’m done with this one.

The Urban Decay Naked 2 palette is a classic. Everyone and their mom, their grandma, their great-grandma, 2nd cousin twice removed (you get it) has this palette. I like it but I don’t reach for it particularly often. I hit pan on Foxy simply because it’s a good shade for setting eyeshadow primer.

And last but not least, Laura Mercier’s Brow Definer in Soft. For the longest time this was my go-to brow product. I’m getting rid of it soon simple because I’ve had it for so long and it took forever to hit pan. I mean like, everyday use for a year forever. I’ve disinfected it more than once. I go back to it all the time. But I think it’s seen its last days. I loved it for how well it held my brows in place without the need for a brow gel and how well the color matched me. Unlike other brow pomades out there, this one is on the sheer side and takes some building up if you want an Instagram defined brow. Personally I think it’s a very underrated product and may repurchase it in the future.

While making sure we use up our products is tough, being a conscious consumer is important. Using what we have and living without our means is important. Why not challenge yourself?


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