Polishing your shoes (30 days to a new man)

This series is designed to help you become a new improved man in 30 days or less.  These are simple things that cost little to no money and use very little time, yet when completed, you will feel like a different person.

Today, we are going to polish our shoes. Why? It’s simple really.  First impressions are everything.  You can have the perfectly tailored suit, a neatly pressed shirt, and a clean face, but if your shoes are scuffed or dirty, all bets are off.  Employers notice your shoes, but what’s more important, females notice them.  You want to stand out in the world?  Polish your shoes.  It amazes me on Sunday mornings when I look down at another gentleman’s feet and notice how ill kept his shoes are.  Where is your pride, gentleman?  Do you want your cheap dress shoes to look like $300 shoes?  Polish them.  Do you want your $300 shoes to remain in top condition?  Polish them.

 

I remember growing up, every Saturday night my father polished his shoes.  I also make it a point to keep my polished weekly.  Sure, it can be time consuming, but even a 10 minute job is better than nothing.  So, gentlemen, start with the shoes.  Let’s clean them up.

What you need:

Polish (duh): I use Kiwi, which can be purchased anywhere for about $3 a can and it lasts a long time.

A soft cloth: An old t shirt will do just fine

Horse hair brush: For buffing

Water: to keep the polish moist

Actually, your best bet is to just buy a kit if you don’t have any of these items.  They run about $10

 

These are the steps I take to keep my shoes looking nice:

1. Apply polish to shoe with applicator or t shirt.  I use small circular motions to apply the polish.  Repeat this for each shoe until it is covered with polish.

2. Spray shoe gently with water bottle and allow to dry (about 3 minutes)

3. Buff away polish with horse hair brush.

4. Repeat until you get the desired shine.

Bonus tip:  Invest in cedar wood shoe trees.  They will help your shoes maintain their shape and they absorb moisture so your feet smell fresh.  The trees posted below are available at Bed Bath and Beyond for $10 a pair.

 

 

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A simple upgrade to your life

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The process of shaving can be harsh. We are reduced to goopy green stuff in cans and 5 blade cartridges that require a second mortgage if we have any hope of purchasing them.

Since the age of 16 (give or take a year) I’ve enjoyed the morning (or evening) ritual of shaving. However, I’ve been doing it wrong all of these years and chances are you are too. Gentlemen, if you’ve not given wet shaving with a safety razor a try, do it as soon as you can.

1. There is little to no irritation

2. It saves a lot of money

3. You will feel like a man.

Now you can’t just cheapen this experience with a ridiculous 3 or 5 blade razor (I know I know, I fell for the marketing too), so let me tell you what you need to get started. These items can be purchased at Art of Shaving, Amazon.com or you can make it yourself.

Razor….Merkur safety razor ($50 at The Art of Shaving)

Badger Hair Shaving Brush….Art of Shaving ($50, included with the Carry on Kit)

Stand….Colonel Conk Evernice Chrome ($21, Amazon.com)

Cream…..Taylor of Old Bond Street ($10 Amazon.com)

Preshave Oil…..Homemade (free, mix two parts castor oil with one part extra virgin olive oil)

Blades…….many brands ($10 for a box of 100, Amazon.com)

That’s it, the upfront costs can be steep, but if you dig, you will find some of this stuff cheaper. Target has a badger hair brush for $9 and I actually saw a Tweezerman brandbadger hair brush for $15 at Harris Teeter today. Whatever you get, make sure it is badger hair as it is softer and works up a lot of lather. I’ve seen this same safety razor on eBay for $30 (I just didn’t want to wait on shipping).

Stop buying cans of foam or gel…those run out quickly and you pay a lot more for that than you would the cream I recommend. My $10 tub of cream has been used regularly since October and I’m 3/4 through it. I will get at least 6 months out of it. I dare you to try to get 6 months worth of gel or foam for $10 if you shave daily.

Blades at less than .20 cent per….heck of a lot cheaper than the $2.50 per Fusion blade out there.

I’ve always looked forward to shaving, but now that I’ve discovered safety razors I look forward to it even more. I’ve even gone as far as ordering a straight razor to see what that experience is like. I will let you know.

Now that you know WHAT to use, this link will help you learn more about HOW to use it.

http://artofmanliness.com/2008/01/04/how-to-shave-like-your-grandpa/

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