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Shoe Care Guide

How To Maintain a Mirror Shine on Your Shoes

Kirby Allison, founder of The Hanger Project goes through the steps to maintain a mirror shine on a pair of dress shoes. A mirror shine is the perfect way to differentiate yourself from even other well-dressed individuals. While achieving a mirror shine can be time-consuming, maintaining one doesn’t have to be. Ensure you get the most out of yours by following the tips in this video.

Products used in this video:


Hi, I'm Kirby Allison and we love to help the well-dressed take care of their wardrobes. In today's installment of our four part series on how to create and maintain a mirror shine, I'm going to be focusing on one of the most important elements: What to do once you've created that mirror shine and want to maintain it for as long as possible. If you have any questions or comments during this video please feel free to ask them in the comments section below and I really look forward to getting back to them personally. A highly polished toe or a mirror shine is one of the few things that will further set you apart from even those already considered well dressed. And that's because few have the know-how or the time to produce a proper mirror shine or the knowledge of how to maintain one. In this video, I'm going to show you how to maintain that mirror shine once it's already been created. Now one of the important things to know is that although a mirror shine can take time and energy to create, and certainly the Saphir Mirror Gloss makes that easier, once it's created, it's actually quite easy to maintain because the majority of the hard work has already been done. Luckily a mirror shine is very easy to determine whenever it needs a little bit of maintenance. It just simply no longer shines like it used to. You'll either see some dull buffing or, more commonly, small cracks that begin to disrupt the smooth surface that is the hallmark of a beautiful mirror shine.

There's three products that I'm going to use in the maintenance on a mirror shine. First, I'm going to use the Saphir Pommadier Cream Polish. Now the purpose of using the Cream Polish is to buff down or to remove a few of the top layers of wax on the mirror shine. What this is doing is it's just pulling a few of the top layers off that might be disrupting that mirror shine so that you can then redevelop that using the Pate de Luxe. Then I'm going to use the Saphir Medaille d'Or Pate de Luxe. Now the purpose of the Pate de Luxe again is just producing that final buffing to really elevate that high shine provided that you still have a sufficient foundation of hard waxes on the area that you're trying to produce the high shine a little bit of Pate de Luxe will really quickly re-glacage and produce a nice mirror shine. Now if you're having trouble producing that mirror shine after you've used these two products or if you see that too much of that hard wax foundation has been removed, then you can always use the Saphir Mirror Gloss to redevelop that foundation. Now of course, throughout this entire process you're going to need a little bit of water and I'm using our Hanger Project High Shine Chamois because that's what's going to allow me to really buff this surface to produce that high shine.

So I'm gonna take my high shine chamois, a little bit of this if Pommadier Cream Polish, and I'm just going to massage it onto the surface here. Now at this point you really want to think of this almost more as cleaning, because what you're doing is you're cleaning any type of dirt off of those first few layers of wax. You're gonna massage this in using a light to medium pressure. Because again you're trying to clean this area of the shoe. Maybe take a little bit more. Small circular motions. Now set this aside and allow that to dry and then repeat the same process on the other shoe.

Now once this has had an opportunity to dry, find a clean portion of your chamois. So using a little bit of water and a little bit of Pate de Luxe. Now what I'm going to do is to buff that polish off the same way you do during the normal show and process. Set that aside and allow it to dry. Now at this point the process of really Redeveloping or maintaining your mirror shine is much this much the same as creating it. You're trying to build small layers of wax that you then buff to a shine and do that progressively until you reach the desired shine. So I'm just using a really small amount of wax polish, a little bit of water, and then buffing this using light to medium pressure. With luck, you'll be able to recover and renew your mirror shine for a few additional weeks of nice use. So this is a process that really can't be rushed. What you're trying to do, again, is to just build up that wax finish and what you're looking for is what you might see like right here. It's hard to see but you can see where the wax, the hard waxes have completely come off. I can see the pore structure of the open grained leather or the full grain leather and so that's an example of an area that you're not going to be able to fix through the maintenance of a mirror shine. And so if you see that the finish or the wax finish is too splotchy then you know, that's the point at which you really have to just remove all of the waxes and start over. But if you've created a nice mirror shine, just a little bit of maintenance can renew it to an above average shine if not back to its original glory with just a little bit of work and so, you know, you can get two, three, maybe even four weeks of occasional wear out of a nice mirror shine. Now you may say occasional use over three or four weeks, given the amount of work that goes into the mirror shine, it doesn't seem like much. You know, you're not incorrect in thinking that. There's no question that a mirror shine requires work. And certainly it is very fragile, relatively speaking, finish, but it's just like a really finely pressed white shirt. I mean, you know, at a certain point a finely pressed white shirt is no longer a finely pressed white shirt. Same thing with the mirror shine. The best mirror shine will last several weeks with maintenance, but at some point you're just going to have to start over. Now depending on how much time you have, it might inform how much of a touch up you have time to do. I mean sometimes, if I'm just headed to church or if I'm traveling and about to walk out the door, I might take a little bit of polish and just do one quick buff.

Again, something is better than nothing, and with a little bit of wax polish and a high shine chamois, you could really do a really nice quick shine fairly quickly. As with anything, especially with the mirror shine you really have to be careful about getting lost in the "mirage", as I call it. I mean it's easy to be sucked into this process and to really get lost and find yourself really spending an hour or more just, chasing the shine if you will. So I like oftentimes kind of set an arbitrary time limit to say "look, I'm going to see how much, or how far I can get this in five or 10 minutes and then I'm going to put my chamois down and walk away from it". Often times as you take a little bit of a break, you come back and you realize that the shine is actually a lot nicer than you thought. Now one of the things I'm doing right here by rubbing the chamois on my cloth is just trying to remove any of the residual kind of hard wax deposits on this chamois just because as I buff, you know, I really want kind of a clean surface, so I find that this helps, this final buffing, you're actually doing it quite briskly and you want to really bring heat. You know, the heat is going to be what helps kind of melt and seal those waxes to produce that high shine. OK. So here we are. And you can see, the shine is really re-elevated quite nicely. I mean, I can see myself speaking in my reflection on this toe cap. That certainly wasn't the case before we renewed this mirror shine. Now, it still has some imperfections, I mean you can see right here especially on the inside edge, I do have some hairline cracking and those have been concealed with the work that we did, but it's still disrupting the mirror shine a little bit. You know there's a few imperfections, especially on the toe, I mean that's always the first thing to go in a mirror shine. You can see here on the toe where some of the pore structure has been revealed again because those hard waxes came off. Anytime you could see those pores, you're not going to get a mirror shine because it's not reflecting that light perfectly. So in order to do that, to conceal this, you know I would either need to use the Mirror Gloss or pull everything off and start over. But, for five to ten minutes, I'm definitely going to get some additional use out of the hard work I put into developing this mirror shine.

One of the comments we see quite often on the YouTube channel, especially on our first mirror shine video, is just a little bit of discouragement that after a few wears, they see that their mirror shine has begun to crack or has dulled a little bit. It's important to understand that with proper maintenance, like what we just showed here in this video, and a little as five to 10 minutes, you can really bring that mirror shine up to 80 to 90 percent of where it was originally. The additional time and effort that you put into the maintenance of a proper mirror shine is just that subtle calling card of a proper gentleman.

Discover more about how to create a mirror shine by watching our entire series on a proper mirror shine here on our YouTube channel. If you have any questions or comments about anything we discussed in this video, please feel free to ask and in the comments section below. I look forward to getting back to all those questions and comments personally. If you liked this video give us a thumbs up and don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and turn on your notifications by clicking the bell in the top right corner so that you know whenever we release new videos. And of course please visit where we have the largest most comprehensive collection of luxury garment care and shoe care accessories in the world as well as other products for the well-dressed. We have a section on our website devoted specifically to the mirror shine. And while you're at , please take a moment to subscribe to our newsletter to receive notification of new product launches, promotions, as well as a weekly digest of all the videos we publish here on our YouTube channel. I'm Kirby Allison, and we love helping the well-dressed take care of their wardrobes. Thanks for joining me. English