Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
Ok, so I received a shipment of GlenKaren shoe products made by our very own Glenjay. I ordered the Cleaner/Conditioner, Black Cream Polish, and High Shine Paste. Now, I have only used these products once, last night on two pairs of shoes so these are initial thoughts and reactions. Out of the box, I was surprised how much product you get. The jars are larger than you expect, packed with product. His site www.Glenkarencare.com
says it has 3oz of product in the jar, but I guess I didn't really think about it.
On opening up the jars, the citrus smell is quite awesome, and it even has freshened up the smell of the old leather bag I keep all of my supplies in. I began with using the cleaner/conditioner on a very beat up pair of shoes to get rid of a lot of scuffs and dirt. I know all shoe polish manufacturers say a little goes a long way and whatever, but hot damn, literally you can spread about a pinky toenail size amount over about 2/3rds of the shoe and it picks up a lot of old wax. It doesn't feel like renovateur at all. It is much more a liquid and something I had comfort in was it doesn't feel like just a polish like renovateur does. While spreading it seems to renew the layers of polish that were on the shoe along with pickup old dead polish. Also, it seems to "plump up" the leather a bit. The creases soaked the coconut oil in much like what I like about Lexol. I also, applied a very small amount to the caps of my shoes, which were heavily bulled. I noticed it picked up a lot of those layers and made it somewhat, dull. I will return to this, so bear with me.
Reading Glenjay's site on how to use the products as well as private messaging him for clarity I learned that he recommends you let the cleaner/conditioner, and polish sit for 10 minutes, then brush, let it sit again for 10 minutes and brush again. Also, he recommended that you don't use the cleaner/conditioner and the polish in the same sitting as it might add too much oil to the leather and make it resist a shine. At this point I just used the cleaner/conditioner on the shoe and let it sit, while just using the black polish on another pair of shoes that I didn't feel needed to be conditioned or cleaned as they are new and only worn about 5 times. Using the black cream polish I noticed how the product feels harder than typical cream polishes that most of us use. I know Glen said temperature has a lot to do with this, but to me, it almost felt like in between Saphir Cordovan Creame and Kiwi Paste polish. Very interesting. As I was swirling the polish on I noticed it spreads insanely far, again a little goes a long way isn't a joke. This polish too seemed to plump up the creases a bit. I let the shoes sit after they were covered.
Returning to the first pair that I used the cleaner/conditioner on I rigorously brushed them, yet noticed they were still a bit dull with brushing. I had two thoughts at this point 1) Glen Said to let the stuff sit and brush again 2) This is good! The fact that the cleaner/conditioner soaked in, pulled up some layers, and actually conditioned the leather means (at least to me) that this stuff is doing its job as a conditioner, not just being largely a polish like most other conditioners I feel mask conditioning with beeswax, because well, people want their leather to "look" conditioned. Well, shiny is somewhat at odds with conditioned. So, after brushing to a somewhat hazy state I wasn't discouraged, I moved on to the high shine paste and using Glen's instructions I wrapped my cloth around my thumb and licked the cloth (this shit is actually non-toxic, so whatevz) and I rubbed it in the wax. This wax has a lot of carnauba so it is HARD. When I began circling and swirling on the cap toe I couldn't believe how fast it began to bull. So much faster than regular Saphir wax. Again, I think it is because of the high amounts of Carnauba, barely any solvent. Saphir products seem to be engineered towards "all around" products. Meaning you can be getting many different benefits by only using one product. This also means those benefits are diluted. The high shine paste is ONLY for getting a high shine and because of that it works quickly. On Glen's site it also said it is neutral because you get get a 3 dimensional shine. I never knew what they really meant until using this, but it is true, it is almost like you can see the space between the wax and the pores of the leather. It doesn't look filled in and solid like using a pigmented polish. It is almost like putting a magnifying glass on the surface of a desk. It creates this "space" between the leather and the shine. I finished bulling the toes and the heel counters fairly quickly. Awesome. I think set them aside to dry more and picked up the other pair with the shoe cream dried on them. I brushed the shoe creamed pair quickly to a dull shine. Again, this means there are actually a good amount of oils in the polish and isn't just choking out the leather. With the dull shine I then bulled the toes and heels like I did the first pair and set them aside.
I returned to the first pair with the bulled toes and heels and gave the rest of the shoe which just had the hazy shine from the cleaner/conditioner another brush and walla! A nice glow. I think you need to give the solvent time to dry and the oils to really soak in. Again, I personally like this knowing the product is actually working into the leather.
I then returned to the second pair with the buffed polish and gave them another buff and the same thing occurred, a nice glow.
So essentially I feel that these products have high concentrations of their ingredients and aren't being diluted, or attempting to mask the leather for the sake of the consumer. Because the proportions of oils in the polish and cleaner/conditioner is high it takes a little more time to let them set, brush, set again, and brush to a shine. To me, this gives me more confidence I am not just getting a polish posing as a conditioner, I am getting nutrients in both the polish and cleaner/conditioner. I think from here on out I will use the polish as regular maintenance along with shaping up the toe and heels with the high shine paste, and only once in a while renewing the finish with the cleaner/conditioner and buffing. I think this will suit me well. Again, I have only used this stuff once, so I might change things up, and my opinion might vary, and as always that will be documented here.
All of this being said, does that mean there is no room in my routine for Saphir? Not at all. I think one huge benefit of renovateur (other than now mostly for my beater shoes
) is that if you take a very small amount and swirl it on an already bulled toecap, or heel you can feel yourself pushing the moisture into the wax kind of like when you add water to begin bulling. It renews a high gloss bull job very well, but perhaps that just means there is a lot of water in renovateur and I could potentially achieve the same result with just moisture, or furthermore moisture and some of the GlenKaren high shine paste wax.
Food for thought.