What's In My Stash: Forgotten Finds & Organization Overhaul

This weekend I finally battled my stash, and I believe I've succeeded in wrestling it into submission.  I may have ragged fingernails, skinned knuckles, and more bruises than I want to contemplate, but after a weekend of hauling around boxes, sorting piles of products, and late-night furniture assembly, I've finally managed to properly set up my stash!

By that, I mean that I wanted a way for me to visually see my skincare stash at a glance instead of having to go digging through drawers and boxes, because I have a lot of interesting things that I just don't pull out and ogle nearly enough.  Like these:

Limited edition IOPE duochrome case and Sulwhasoo 2004 Shine Classic compact
IOPE, why did you have to change your refill inserts right after I bought this limited edition case for a giveaway?
I'm not usually too concerned with the state of my stash organization, because I have it organized in a spreadsheet that keeps track of it all for me, but my home office had become overrun with partially-unpacked orders, various photography trappings, and a thriving colony of packing materials that seemed to be breeding in every corner.

I'm good at keeping track of what I buy (that spreadsheet, yo) but I somehow manage to forget to enter the things I receive as gifts, either from friends or "gifts with purchase" which arrived in store orders.

In this post:

  • The result: behind the scenes in my home office & tamed stash
  • Interesting finds from the depths of my stash: "Oh hey, I should totally use this!"
  • Adventures in stash wonderland: inside drawers, shelves, refrigerator, & my bathroom counter
  • What's left on my to-do list

I was amazed at how little space it took up once I sorted through everything and pulled out all the empties, boxes, and discards-- I have no idea how large the average beauty blogger's stash is, but compared to the jaw-dropping stash videos I've seen, mine is downright tiny!  Bless you, spreadsheet, for keeping me in check, even if you can't display all the pretty packaging.  Time for lots of photos!

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The result: behind the scenes in my home office & tamed stash

Here's a shot of my office as I was taking the photo of the products which normally live on my bathroom sink, ie. what I'm currently using on a regular enough basis to warrant sink real estate.

I have three windows in this room which mystifyingly don't normally bring in enough natural light for photos (how?! There are three of them!), so I have some inexpensive softbox lights (these on Amazon) which help reduce the aggravation of trying to get a clean photo.  At least as far as lighting is concerned.  Why are photos always such a struggle, argh.

Home office set up with photo table
The entirety of my stash is in the top left cabinet and the rolling set of drawers.
I have some photo-related items stored beneath the table, such as the DIY cherry wood I use for some of my Instagram photos like this one, and a box of props which are now consolidated into one place instead of stashed in every nook of my office, migrating underfoot, attacking me while I contort myself trying to take a shot, and generally driving me insane.

Interesting finds from the depths of my stash: "Oh hey, I should totally use this!"

There won't be any particular order to these photos, as they were assembled in order of "what I came across first as I sorted things into 4 giant boxes" and half these photos were hurriedly snapped as I worked.

Mizon Pink Spot Powder, Etude House Eye Primer, Lorac Eyeshadow Palette

Mizon Pink Spot Powder, Etude House Waterproof Eye Primer, Lorac Refined Romance Eyeshadow Palette
The pink powder will separate properly if you allow it to settle.
The Mizon Acence Blemish Out Pink Spot powder is actually a repurchase; I've tried other pink powder treatments (such as this Ciracle one) and the Mizon remains my favourite.  I've long, long since emptied my first bottle, and you can read my review here: Mizon Acence Blemish Out Pink Spot Review.  Thankfully I'm on regular actives (azelaic acid and BHA) that tackle emerging blemishes, but I definitely missed this product when I didn't have it around, and snagged a new bottle.  Where to get it: Amazon | eBay | Jolse | RoseRoseShop | TesterKorea

The Etude House Waterproof 10 Eye Shadow Primer was highly recommended by Fiddy of Fifty Shades of Snail, and it's a lot cheaper than my usual standby Urban Decay Primer Potion.  I've been wanting to get a Lorac eyeshadow palette for a while, as I don't know enough about makeup to be able to review it properly, and Tracy of Fanserviced-b decided to take matters into her own enabling hands and sent this Lorac Refined Romance Eye/Cheek palette to me during a massive Nordstrom's sale.  

I look forward to a lot of accidental smokey eye looks in my future.

IOPE Air Cushion Insert, Too Cool for School Mascara, Tatcha Blotting Powders, Lalavesi Skin Base

I don't normally go for cute, but Dinoplatz does cute so well.
I'm always on the hunt for potential cushion matches, so I snagged this IOPE Air Cushion XP in M13 insert from ... somewhere.  I think it was a buying service haul or maybe an 11st order.  It's why I purchased the purple/green duochrome limited edition IOPE case in the first image of this post, in fact.  Buying just refill inserts and then popping them into a compatible case is something I recommend that people consider in lieu of splurging on an unknown cushion-- often the refills are $10-15 which hurts less if it ends up being a disappointment.

I have hooded, oily lids that like to slowly and sneakily oil cleanse off my mascara without my consent, and deposit it below my eyes to ensure I always look unfashionably unkempt.  Jerks.  I'd given up on mascara until I discovered tubing mascaras, and Blinc's been my mascara of choice ever since.  Supposedly the Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Escalator mascara is also a tubing mascara, so when I hit 3 months on my Blinc, I'll be testing this instead.

The Tatcha Aburatorigami Blotting Sheets  were something a friend threw into my box when we did a group order together, and while my experiences with Tatcha products haven't been great, I've heard a lot of hype about these.  The Lalavesi Akma Base in Y2 was a decant from Tracy, except that she sent me the whole thing, heh.  I've already tested this, but I wear makeup so rarely that I really need to take it out and put it through its paces.

Acwell Bubble Free Cleanser, Camellia Oil Hair Treatment, Ginseng Peeling Gel, History of Whoo Balm

That History of Whoo balm set has been flirting with me since last winter.

I've been wanting to try the Acwell Bubble Free pH Balancing Cleanser for a while, and Tracy kindly sent me a decant.  A Memebox-overloaded friend sent me the La Bellona Camellia Oleifera Oil Clinic hair treatment and Derma House Peeling Gel with Coenzyme Q10 and Ginseng because I have a lot of hair that devours large amounts of hair product, and I really love Hanbang (traditional Korean herbal medicine) scents, including ginseng.

The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang Secret Court Lip balm Special Set was my Christmas present to myself last year, but I was determined to use up the balms I had before cracking into this one.  It arrived late in the winter, so rather than attack it with my mouth germs and then let it brew all summer, I decided to wait until this fall to use it.  I can't believe I'm this excited for my lips to start chapping.  #beautybloggerweirdness

Adventures in stash wonderland: inside drawers, shelves, refrigerator, & my bathroom counter

What's in my shower and on my bathroom counter

On the left is my bath and body products: shampoos, conditioners, body wash, scalp spray, BHA body spray, etc.  On the right are the products that lurk on our sink (although it only takes up one corner when it's not all spread out) plus the AHA that my husband uses to spot treat his CCs.  At his own initiative.  I'm so proud.

Body care and skin care product lineup
Peeking out from behind the Sum:37 cleansing water is a giant box of facial cottons.
Some of these have reviews, such as the Su:m37 Skin Saver cleansing water, the Glossier Milky Jelly cleanser, the Cremorlab T.E.N Cremor Gel Oil, the Mizon AHA/BHA toner, the Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, my Curology Azeliac acid + Niacinamide Rx, the semi-discontinued Beauty of Joseon cream, and the Goodal Mild Protect Natural Filter SPF50+ PA+++ sunscreen.

If you're a regular reader, you already know I don't use all these products all at once, but they're in my skincare wardrobe and see heavy use.  Most of the unreviewed products are part of my Winter is Coming: Plotting My K-Beauty Skincare Routine for Colder Weather fall lineup, which will fill out as the weather cools.

Masks, makeup, and nerdy things

Does anyone else repurpose TesterKorea boxes for storage?  Because that corrugated plastic is amazing.  Anyway, that Hyundai Mall box contains all my sheet masks, save a few boxed ones in the cabinet, and the bottom shelf is all my nerdy stuff.  Research materials, pH testing gear, decanting supplies, etc.  The rolling drawers has non-sheet masks, samples and decants, beauty tools, and makeup.

Yes, I have two boxes of pH strips because I'm always wandering off with them and losing them.
I've snapped the drawer contents as well; I migrated my skincare out of these drawers into the cabinet, because it's much easier to just open it and see what I have instead of having to open a drawer and go pawing around!

Left: lip products, right: eye makeup and the few palettes I own.
I don't own a lot of makeup by beauty blogging standards, partly because I don't wear a lot of it (I work from home) and partly because I'm a serious derp when it comes to makeup application.  My go-to look is base, groomed brows, colourful lip, and bare eyes.  I'm looking forward to practicing with that Lorac palette, though!

Also if anyone can tell me how to sharpen those limited edition Snow White eye pencils from Beauty People, please let me know!  They don't twist up like an auto pencil but they're plastic so they don't seem to be able to be sharpened either?  So confused, halp.

On the left, beauty tools incl. applicators & brushes, facial cottons, and foaming nets.  On the right, base makeup incl. cushions, powders, contour & highlighters, and concealer.
How I've collected so many makeup brushes over the years despite hardly ever wearing eye makeup, I just don't know.  I recently reviewed the gorgeous Sulwhasoo peony cushion here: Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion #13 Review & Swatches, which was the prize for an International giveaway on my Instagram.

The right side of this drawer used to contain my sheet masks, but it was awkward to paw through them so they've been relocated to the shelf for easier access!
I actually really love these little single/double use mask pack capsules, especially the clay mask ones, as I rarely use them and thus a full size would mostly go to waste.  I love deluxe sample sizes in general, and you can read more about why I think they're usually a better buying choice (for me) here: K-Beauty & Portion Control: Why Sometimes Good Value Can Be a Bad Idea

On the right: decants, and samples I actually plan to use.  On the left ... let's not talk about that.
Like most K-Beauty fans, I have a drawer of sample shame, where the inevitable random samples that come with one's orders go to to be forgotten.  Rarely do I get samples that I'll actually end up using, but swapping decants with friends is a great way to try out products that aren't available in sample sizes without buying a full size.

What's in my refrigerator (seriously)

I don't purchase backups these days, unless a HG product is discontinued, which sadly has happened to one of my favourite Korean beauty products of all time, the Beauty of Joseon cream.  However, skincare is perishable, so backups aren't ideal.  Still, if you have to squirrel away a few, a cold, dry, dark place is usually the best place.

Yes, that's 3 backups of Joseon cream. I'm mostly through my current jar, and winter is coming.
The Xai Cosmetics cream on the left will be stashed back in the fridge until I'm ready to use it as I've had it since the spring, and the Paula's Choice Vitamin C serum is an L-AA and needs to be kept away from light and heat.

And finally, the bulk of my skincare stash:

What's in my skincare cabinet

My in-laws are moving, so she passed along this little cabinet to help out with the limited storage of our Victorian-era house.  I think she intended for it to be used for something other than skincare but I snatched it up in my harpy claws and pressed it into service.

I couldn't figure out why all my photos looked off, and then I realized that both the cabinet and the house were warped with age, and there wasn't a straight line to be had anywhere!

How did this end up barely filling the cabinet?!  Ah wait, I know.  Gulp.
The top shelf holds essences, serums, oils, creams, etc, and a few items I'm planning on giving away.  The middle shelf is products I'm planning on using soon, and my stable of cleansers.  The bottom shelf is divided (by a few boxes of sheet mask) between used/emptied products overdue for review on the left, and body/hair care products on the right.

Look at all that unused space!  It's amazing how much more reasonable this all looks when it's tidily arranged together rather than encroaching on every available surface and threatening to spread to the floor.  I decline to confirm if it was that bad before I took on this project, but I will admit that Dr. Mr. the Pear was amazed he could now walk freely from one side of my office to the other without risking his life.

What's left on my to-do list

I have two boxes left to sort and ... do something with.  One is all the beautiful things that I've emptied (or retired if they didn't work for me) but have beautiful packaging worth keeping.  The other is a giant 25" x 25" box (which contained my husband's charcoal grill!) which is filled almost to the brim with empties, the packaging of products I've unboxed but not yet reviewed, and products that have been banished to the discards pile.

Why haven't I purged it yet?  I've learned that throwing things out always leads to regret later as one digs through various boxes looking for XYZ to photograph, only to realize you've thrown it out right before you needed it.  RAGE!  Tackling that box, and the box of pretties, will be my next task, but that will be for another day when my aches and scrapes have faded.

Do you have stash set up to share, or photos of your 'shelfie'?  Hit me up on Facebook or Twitter and let me know!

Have something you'd like to share with me in general?  Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram at @snowwhiteandtheasianpear because I'd love to see it!

All the best,

**Disclaimer: All products featured in this post were purchased by me, or were personal gifts from friends who also have terrifying skincare stashes. This blog contains both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself.  Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.


  1. For the Beauty People eye pencils - try putting them in the freezer for a few hours and then sharpening with a regular sharpener. I do that with my NYX jumbo eye pencil which also has plastic casing and its the only way I can sharpen it. I'd love to see pictures of your beautiful packaging box!

    1. Ooo! I did try sharpening them with a regular eye pencil sharpener and it was a total fail, but I didn't think of freezing them first! Thanks for the tip!

  2. The Innisfree pencils I use are also plastic. I found out that they sharpen with a regular eye pencil sharpener quite well. I understand that a number of Kbeauty brands use that type material for their pencils.

    1. Yeah, I've tried sharpening them with a regular eye pencil sharpener and didn't get anywhere, but maybe it was too old/dull?

  3. Haha! Are those Harry Potter wands on top of the cabinet??

    1. LOOOL no, they are hairsticks to put my hair up in a bun without the use of elastics or bobby pins, which is better for the hair. I have really long hair, so I wear it up in a bun every day. ;)

  4. Wait, Beauty of Joseon Cream IS being discontinued? I thought it was just going through a repackaging? *goes into re-panic mode*

    1. Nope, apparently it wasn't selling well in Korea and was discontinued, but Memebox US was negotiating for a last limited release. Supposedly Memebox and Crystal Cove Beauty will have some in stock at the end of this month, though!

  5. I have aesthetically-boring skincare storage, with most of my mask haul from the summer trip to Taiwan in plastic under-bed storage except for 4 boxes that live on a metal shelf along with my library books, magazines to donate, and exercise clothing being aired. It is very appealing. Also a pouch in a drawer with pre-summer mask purchases, and another pouch in the same drawer with All The Samples. I tend to only want one or two products for each routine "slot," so I just have a few serums/essences/mists. Going to buy a few more over the next few months though! Including the Goodal Lotus Water Oil that I asked about on the Snailcast's FB page~ <3

    1. Hey, boringly stored is better than not stored at all, right? If it works .... ;) Ooo, I'm looking forward to hearing how you like the Lotus Water Oil!