Kitty Blackadder

A Scottish blog about making art, too much eyeshadow and becoming a grown up.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Why I'm Part of the Project Panning Community

I've been a part of the Project Panning community on YouTube for a couple of years now, but unfortunately I recently came to the decision that due to my continuing issues with my anxiety, I'm not going to be able to go on making videos for my channel for the forseeable future. While this was kinda sucky (to say the least...), it did cause me to stop and think about Project Panning and what I wanted to do now that I wouldn't actually be filming it for anyone. I decided that while initially a lot of Panning was, for me, about the community, I do very much like the practice and I do want to keep it up (very possibly sharing some things on here), so I thought it would be good to talk about why I Project Pan in the first place.

Firstly, like all the posts on here, this is not a definition of what Project Panning is or why people do it - like minimalism, people get into Panning for all different reasons - this is just me talking about my own interests and experiences within the Project Pan community.

Nail polish marked for panning

Around December 2014, videos kept popping up in my 'Suggested Videos' section on YouTube. Videos with weird titles like 'Project 10 Pan Finale', or 'Pan that Palette Intro', and I while I watched a couple, I really just didn't think it was something I was interested in - as someone who seemed to be trying to bring the entire contents of the Boots makeup section into my living room, it didn't seem that appealling to have less makeup. The one that really made me stop and take notice was seeing Amber F's finale from panning the Naked Palette in 2014. My mind was blown - Did you know it's possible to actually finish an eyeshadow?!?! Yeah, I didn't.

The more I started watching these videos, the more I was keen to join in. Here were people who loved makeup seemingly as much as lots of the BIG YouTubers and bloggers, but they showed their love for makeup by actually using it rather than buying it and putting it in drawers. Here was a way I could still think and talk about makeup all the time, without having to continue to buy more and more to still feel part of the conversation. The other, slightly less cheery reason, I knew I wanted to start Project Panning was to address the issue that I knew I had with shopping for makeup. I don't know if it would be right to call it an 'addiction' but it was certainly an unhealthy relationship with shopping motivated largely by emotions and compulsions rather than rational thought - basically, I shopped far more than I should have or wanted to.

Panned Lorac Pro

So that was the beginning - in 2015 I panned my LORAC Pro palette, rather successfully (*toots own horn*), and I fell in love with the process. I've done Project 10 Pans, Project Use It Ups, I've kept inventories and tracked my spending on Low-Buys - but two years on why is Panning still right for me? What do I still get from it?

Well, I know that the Panning community takes criticism sometimes from people who feel it's wrong to 'force' yourself to use up makeup, or, from people who think it's stupid to track how long it takes you to use a body lotion. While I fully accept that not everyone will enjoy the same things, I have to point out that both those ideas have been very beneficial for me. Don't get me wrong, I've certainly chosen to Pan the 'wrong' item before and spent weeks misreably applying makeup befor realising, it's just not worth that - but through Panning I've also seen just how long it does take me to finish a lipstick, or a blush, and now, knowing that, it makes me really less keen to go out and buy a bunch of blushes, because I know how long I'll be using each one for! I know now that turquoise eyeliner I thought looked so cute that I would definitely reach for it (then it spent 8 months living at the back of a drawer), when 'forced' to wear it actually doesn't work with any look I can come up with, meaning that I now know I will never buy another one again. In working through body lotions and mascaras and everything else more consciously and reviewing them for myself at the end, I'm so much more aware of what I like and what I don't that it really simplifies future shopping for me - which fits so well into what I'm trying to do with my life overall.

Planning my Panning

I've learned a lot of positive things through Panning too, rather than just learning I have too much stuff, or have made a lot of mistakes. Panning the LORAC Pro in 2015 along with lots of lovely ladies, is one of the most fun things I've ever been part of. Coming up with different ways to wear shadows and sharing them with each other, commiserating over the difficult shades (yeah, I'm looking at you Champagne...) and celebrating the successes we shared - I really made friends and I was a part of something. I could talk about, photograph, film videos about my makeup evey day if I wanted to, and Panning it wasn't costing me a penny. One thing that does always crack me up though is when I now see one of the BIG YouTubers talking about how she's used her LORAC Pro 'to death' and how much she loves it, then when we see the palette, there's hardly a dip in a shadow! Stuff like this happens a lot with various products I've panned and it's really made me trust the reviews of a lot of the BIG YouTubers less - applying a lipstick once, for an hour does not give the ability for a 'full review', and using a palette a couple of times does not mean you really understand how best to use it or how the shades all interact with each other - at least in my opinion anyway.

Sure, over the years, I've failed at a lot of Projects, I've missed updates, I've made potentially the most feelbe attempts ever at Low-Buys sometimes, but I've actually come a long way since 2014. Through Project Panning I've learned what shades of eyeshadow I'll reach for again and again and which will make me scream, I've learned that first impressions of a product are not always right and that it is possible to absolutely have a great time puting makeup on even if you don't have any of the hippest, newest, most hyped launches.

That last point actually ties into one of my favourite things I did in the time I was Project Panning - I learned to shop my stash. When something new launches that I MUST have, or when a new season rolls around and my Bloglovin' feed is filled with "10 Fall Eyeshadows You NEED" type of posts, I've learned to go through everything I own and honestly, I'd say 95% of the time I find something that scratches the itch. If not a dupe then I find something that has the same vibe, or that I can layer to create the same sort of look. It has honestly saved me a fortune and I never feel like I'm missing out when I do this.

Overall I've learned and experienced so much through Panning that I really don't know that I would have otherwise. While I still own a lot (I mean, a LOT) of eyeshadow, my rate of aqquistion has dramatically reduced and honestly, I have Panning to thank for that. While I still buy lip products sometimes, I've learned from Panning that I don't want to wear lipgloss, at all, ever. I've learned from Panning that it's a bad idea to buy three of the same shower gel you've never tried (hello allergic reaction on first use), that it really does take 4-6 months to finish a single Maybelline Color Tattoo (so I probably don't need that limited edition blue with pink sparkles one) I've learned that some eyeshadows make better nail varnishes (Yes, you again Champagne...) and most of all I've learned that loving makeup and beauty products isn't measured by how many I buy or own, but about how much fun I have playing with them.

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