Lipstick Project Pan, Fall 2017

After three and a half years (!) of beauty blogging, I’ve learned which panning projects work for me and which are guaranteed to fail. I can usually push myself to finish a piece of makeup if three conditions apply:

  • It’s a cream product (usually a lipstick)
  • I like it enough that I’ve already used up at least 2/3 of it
  • It’s getting old and/or is in poor condition
I believe that makeup should be a pleasure, so if I actively dislike a product, I’ll destash it instead of forcing myself to finish it. If it’s newer or in good condition, I’d rather just keep it around and wear it when I feel like it. And if it’s almost full, I don’t see much point in panning it: that’s just setting myself up for frustration. So, as you can imagine, I don’t undertake panning projects very often. But I managed to finish two lipsticks (Urban Decay Streak and MAC Up the Amp) earlier this year, and right now I have four more that I think I can pan by the end of 2017. All of them are fairly close to empty, two are at least three years old, and the other two are in pretty bad shape:
NARS Sheer Lipstick in Flamenco (purchased God knows when, maybe 2013?) is a cool-neutral, softly shiny red that’s very kind to my lips when they’re dry. I find it difficult to pair Flamenco with other makeup: it feels too vivid for a bold eye but too subtle for a neutral one. Still, it’s a nice fall color, and I suspect I’ll use it even more often come holiday season.
Revlon Matte Balm in Sultry (purchased 2014) is one of my all-time favorite lipsticks, but I have an almost identical shade waiting in the wings: a deluxe sample of Marc Jacobs Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which was Sephora’s birthday gift last year. I’ve been telling myself for almost a year that I have to finish Sultry before starting KKBB, so I should probably go ahead and do that.
Glossier Generation Gs in Jam and Cake are easy to wear both color- and formula-wise, but both bullets have long since detached from their tubes, and I’m tired of worrying that they’ll tumble to the floor when I use them. Plus, the cheap packaging is just depressing. I have some Glossier store credit, and I’ve considered ordering Leo, the brown Generation G, but I don’t want yet another flimsy lipstick that will break within weeks.
Here’s the amount left in each tube. Cake, Jam, and Flamenco require frequent touch-ups, and I always wear multiple layers of both Gen Gs, so I don’t think finishing them will be much trouble. As for Sultry, I love it so much that I’d be happy to wear it every day for a week.
L-R: Cake, Jam, Sultry, Flamenco.


L-R: Cake (3 layers), Jam (3 layers), Sultry, Flamenco.

Just for fun, here’s a comparison of Sultry and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Sultry is the tiniest bit warmer, but they’re essentially indistinguishable, at least on my hand:

Finally, and entirely against the spirit of panning projects, can we talk about a ridiculous lipstick that vaulted to the top of my wishlist this morning?

This is Rebirth, one of the three marbled “Lava Lips” released with Illamasqua’s new Aftermath collection. (My brain keeps combining “Aftermath” and “Rebirth” into “Afterbirth,” yikes.) I know it’s gimmicky. I know it’s overpriced ($27, plus $7.50 for international shipping). I know I have enough red lipsticks. I know I haven’t been terribly impressed with the Illamasqua lipsticks I’ve swatched in Selfridges. But look at that smoky swirly witchy perfection, you guys. This threatens to be another Black Lace Rabbit situation, but I can’t help it: I’m smitten. Save me from myself.

9 thoughts on “Lipstick Project Pan, Fall 2017

  1. I'm totally with you on destashing things you don't like rather than trying to pan them. When I see people on r/makeuprehab talking about how much they hate the stuff in their project pans I'm like… just get rid of it. Makeup is silly and frivolous and you shouldn't waste your time on stuff you don't like.It's funny that Sultry and KKBB are similar on you! On me Sultry pulls a lot more brown and red, and KKBB is a lot pinker. But those are both colours that I find look really different on everyone, so it makes sense. Either way you've made huge progress on those lipsticks, so I'm sure you'll be successful. I think using up a lipstick is the most satisfying thing. I've only done it twice and I'm not on track to finish any this year, but maybe by the end of 2018…


  2. To be fair, I've never actually tried KKBB on, just swatched it on my arm, so it may look very different on my lips. (And if it does, I'll probably repurchase Sultry, thus defeating the purpose of this entire project.) I get a great amount of satisfaction from using up lipsticks, too! It's nice to be reminded that as fickle as I am, I'm still capable of resisting advertising long enough to get real use from the products I already own.


  3. The Illamasqua lipstick will almost certainly look like a weird patchy brownish black colour on your lips. DON'T DO IT.Okay, now that I'm through that: I've never really done a panning challenge of any kind because I know I can't commit. All of the things I've ever considered panning have been stuff I wasn't totally in love with, which I'm sure helped doom the project.


  4. UGH I KNOW. I can't justify spending $34.50 on a weird lipstick I can't even swatch first. Plus, I did swatch the shade of Lip Lava that Illamasqua released last year, and it just looked muddy and gross. Must stay strong.I find that I'm capable of panning products I'm not totally in love with, so long as I don't actively dislike them either. I enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to use one lipstick in multiple different looks.


  5. I'm really interested in seeing your progress in the next months! You're so right about the \”2/3 used\” thing – I never feel motivated to tackle a whole, full lipstick to pan. Currently, I'm trying to finish some of my lip products as well (to minimize my stash a bit and get some use out of certain items before they get too old). Even after decluttering, I own too many lipsticks for my taste. I enjoy the ones I've kept, but the number is still overwhelming for me and I definitely know that they'll got bad before I had the time to use all of them enough to be satisfied with my usage. I guess the problem might solve itself in some years when they will go bad, unfortunately.Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is so intriguing. At the moment, I don't want to accumulate even more lip products, but one day, I'll order it for sure.


  6. I'll be sure to post an update at the end of the year! I'm not 100% confident I can finish all of these, but I'm pretty sure I can pan at least two by the end of December. We'll see.My lipstick collection has hovered between 50 and 55 all year (currently at 53). If I were brutally honest with myself and eliminated all the shades I don't absolutely love, I'd probably have about 40, but it's so hard for me to get rid of perfectly good makeup. II'm always happy when I can give neglected makeup to someone who actually wants it, but that's pretty rare, and it kills me to throw lipsticks away unless they're super old or terrible for my lips. Sigh.


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