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What is the difference between cream polish and paste polish?

This is our most common question. For practical differences, cream polish is your “everyday polish” that can be used on any kind of non-suede/non-patent leather. It conditions, protects, restores color, and shines up when brushed. Paste polish has much harder waxes in it, and it’s designed for non-flexing leather areas of shoes (toe cap & heel, usually). It adds additional protection, color depth, and shines even more. They are usually used in combination, with cream being the base layer. But if you only get one, cream is essential.


What is the white residue on my shoe after polishing?

This usually means one of two things: 1) You put paste polish on the flexing areas of your shoe (the upper/vamp, the sides, etc., and now it's cracking while the shoe flexes, or while you walk; or 2) You put too much cream polish on your shoe, and didn't wipe off the excess. Your shoe should be dry to the fingertip after brushing. If it's sticky at all, take a clean cloth and wipe the excess off. 


How do I get a mirror shine like I see in your photos?

Mirror Shine using High Shine Paste Wax on leather oxfords

A "mirror shine", "bull shine", "spit shine", or "glacage" can take a lifetime to master, but you can start practicing relatively easily. Even we mess it up sometimes, as each shoe is unique, and some leathers can be more difficult than others, and some shoes have more unique features than can make it difficult (broguing, medallions, chisel toes, scratches/gouges, etc.).

The explanation for the mirror-like reflection is that you are first creating a smooth wax base embedded in the leather pores of your shoe, then you are building up minuscule layers of water and wax on top of the smooth base layer, until it reflects the light, like a mirror.

The recipe involves first applying a layer or two of cream polish, brushed smooth, followed by a wax platform base, using a layer or two of stiffer paste polish (our High Shine Paste Polish is perfect for this). Once you have the wax platform, and it's smooth (no cracks, scratches, dust particles, or clumps of wax), take a clean & smooth cloth and wrap it around your fingertips. Taking single droplets of water at a time, dab your finger on to your paste polish, and swirl the droplet, allowing the wax to build up very thin layers on the leather. 

Repeat the dab, droplet, swirl process, maintaining a clear shine between layers. Repeat 20-50 times, depending on the depth of shine you want, as long as the shine continues to look clear.