Project Use-It-Up: Do You Have An Addiction To Beauty Products?

Do you think you have an addiction to beauty products? Have you heard of Project Use-it-Up or Project Pan? If not, why not check it out?

Like many people, I had a large stash of beauty products, make-up and toiletries, as I’ve been a little addicted to skincare and make-up since my teens. My mum was an Avon lady and I followed her into the business, selling their beauty products on and off over the decades that followed.

What Are Project Use-It-Up and Project Pan?

Basically, project use-it-up and project pan are all about using up products before you buy another one. The ‘pan’ refers to the metal in the bottom of make-up palettes and containers, such as eye shadows, blushers, etc. The product is ‘panned’ when you can see the bottom of it, but it applies to bottles and tubes, too.

The overall concept is to encourage people to think about what they’re buying, to be more mindful when considering new purchases, reduce consumption overall, and to save money. But also to identify where their money is going and help them not to spend it on items that are just going to sit there gathering dust.

My Own Decluttering Project

What began as a decluttering project in my bedroom turned into something much bigger when I decided that my beauty and skincare also needed sorting out. It was time to let it all go! (This was before I became a Tropic Skincare Ambassador – now I only buy and use products that are cruelty-free and ‘Leaping Bunny’ approved.)

project use-it-up

As is often the case when you start getting rid of stuff, you move into a different mindset when it comes to re-purchasing products. For years I’d only been buying what we needed or loved. Yet somehow I never applied this ethos/rule to make-up and other beauty products. I don’t know why, but it is what it is.

Being Intentional At Home

I no longer beat myself up about things like this. Our household consumption is controlled overall and we do as much as we can to reduce our impact on the planet. We shop intentionally, buy what we need, and re-use and recycle as much as possible. Therefore we feel that a few slip-ups are allowed – as long as they are corrected, when spotted!

I decided as I was decluttering that I was going to use up everything I had in stock and only buy essential products that I needed going forward. And so, my own #projectuseitup began. Thankfully I’ve more or less stuck to it ever since (we all have our ‘moments’).

Saving Up the Empties For the Project

The empties in the photo above are part of my contribution to #projectuseitup. There were others, but I forgot to keep the empty containers. To be honest, I was so sick of seeing this lot lying in a box, waiting for me to do a blog post, that I almost threw them in the recycling as well!

Part of the reason for my buying ban was because I ‘treated’ myself to an M&S beauty box. I admit I only bought it because I saw loads of people on Instagram getting theirs and thought they looked nice. To say I really annoyed myself doing this would be an understatement! Why? Because I’ve been successfully decluttering in every other area of my life without too much difficulty and this felt like a setback.

What I Loved And Why

In all honesty, there isn’t much in that photo that I’d buy again, as nothing really impressed me that much.

There were three products I loved, but as I’m purchasing only clean and cruelty-free products, sadly those items no longer fit the bill. Check out the Think Dirty app ( @thinkdirty on Instagram) if you want to see how clean or dirty your own products are. It can be quite an eye-opener.

From left to right.

Estée Lauder Double Wear was my favourite foundation for several years. It scores 6 on the ‘dirty meter’, which is the top end of the half clean/half dirty section. I have always really liked it but once this bottle was finished, I had to find an alternative. (Also – and very importantly – Estée Lauder is not a cruelty-free brand, which bothers me immensely.)

Balmain Argan Moisturising Elexir. I got this from a hairdresser a while back and oh my goodness, my fine hair adored it! But I can’t even pronounce most of the ingredients, so I don’t think I’d ever buy it again.

Percy & Reed Volumising No Oil, Oil. Again, I loved this for my fine hair. It didn’t weigh it down, nor did it feel greasy or heavy – it was just a fab product. Sadly it’s another item full of many unpronounceable nasties, so again, I wouldn’t buy it in the future (this was in my M&S box).

Other Things I Loved

project use-it-up Natural

Natural Elements facial oil and their facial cream. Combined, these two products make a lovely moisturising treat for your skin, plus they’re completely clean and cruelty free. I also liked the Aromatherapy Associates Anti-Ageing Intensive Skin Treatment oil, too. However, it’s very expensive compared to similar Tropic Skincare products. It also contains ‘parfum’ which is listed in their ingredients with a double asterisk.

Despite searching their website (and Google), I’ve been unable to find the exact identity of this. The website states the products are “100% free from synthetic fragrances”. But it doesn’t say what the natural fragrances actually are. I have an allergy to a whole range of fragrances so can’t take any chances. Perhaps someone from Aromatherapy Associates could advise on this?

Things I Really Didn’t Like Or That Didn’t Work For Me

Firstly, that very cheap Lacura moisturiser! I have seen so many people raving about this product but for me, the fragrance was so overpowering it made me feel sick! Additionally, it felt horrible on my skin.

Aussie Miracle dry shampoo – this left my hair feeling sticky and looking dull. The Lip Plump (can’t remember the make) just didn’t do what it said on the tin, so that was also a no-go.

I still have quite a few things to use up but it’s looking a lot better. I’m really looking forward to having a completely streamlined, more minimalist, make-up and toiletry collection.

Tropic Skincare

For transparency purposes, as mentioned at the beginning of this article, I’m now an Ambassador for Tropic Skincare and earn commission on all sales. It’s a very ethical company, certified carbon-neutral, and their products are freshly made in their Surrey ‘kitchen’, with no nasties included. They are also cruelty-free, Leaping Bunny approved, and packed with natural ingredients.

In addition to this, 10% of all profits from sales – no matter how large or small – goes towards the ‘teaching the unreached’ project with United World Schools. You can read about that on my pages over at EasyPeasySuccess (linked).

If you’d like to check out the company, I’ve linked my Tropic Storefront here.


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