I personally don't like shoe cream (the stuff in the glass jars) as its high pigment content tends turns everything into the dull colour of the polish. It's good stuff when you want coverage, on the edge of the sole or to retouch a scuffmark. Wax polish (in tins) is transparent and on a pair of Edward Green or Berluti shoes where the manufacturer has taken a great deal of effort to create that antique look, I don't want the shoe cream to cover the (expensive) finish. With polish I might use a darker shade on the sides than on top of the vamp. (It's that old make-up trick: shade the cheekbones to make the face look slimmer.) Neutral shoe cream is good stuff to nourish and lubricate the leather from time to time.
Neutral shoe cream is basically all I use; I have tried the pigmented shoe creams in the past and you're right, they just junk up the look. I have avoided using wax polish as I thought that it too would add unwanted opaque color, but apparently this is not the case. What polish(es) do you use/recommend? Also, what is the safest, most effective method for occasional removal of wax polish buildup, as I am led to believe must be done on occasion? Any product recom.'s ? Hey, and while I'm at it, any recommendations for a suede conditioner for shoes (something that provides a bit of protection, but hopefully doesn't alter the color)?