*I received these items as a gift from Chamberlains
One of the foundations of an ethical closet is taking care of what you already own (basing this off this image here, which I'm still in love with lol). And nothing gives me greater satisfaction than taking care of my leather bags and shoes, probably because these are high ticket items which are meant to last and age well. Well the lovely folks over at Chamberlain's saw my past post about their products (here and here) and offered to send me their new re-forumlated products. And since I liked their products the first time around, I was definitely interested in giving them a try (and I wasn't disappointed). Also I love their stuff because it comes with its own cotton applicator, which is so essential when using these products.
The first one I tried out was their new Leather Milk No. 1 which "conditions and rejuvenates". Well my Mansur Gavriel lady bag (which I had protected earlier with Chamberlain's no. 3 formula last year), was looking a bit scratched up. I don't even use the bag that often but the leather does scratch up easily. Here are some before pictures:
I found the new Formula no. 1 to be better than their old formula in that it doesn't go on as streaky as it used to. The application went on super smooth and evenly (just make sure the lotion soaks into the cotton pad applicator first). The lotion also smelled super pleasant, a bit like cherry candy. Also unlike the old formula, there was no color transfer onto the cotton applicator. And the leather milk worked! It made all the small, superficial scratches disappear. Also the new formula seems to dry faster than the old one (probably because it's thinner and easier to spread evenly). This is right after application (no streaks!):
And this is 24 hours later:
In some ways, now that the shallow scratches are gone I feel like I notice the deeper scratches more. Ah well, it's better to condition your leather bags to prevent further shallow scratches (which is prone to happen when the leather is all dried out). Deep scratches? Well that's just a part of life, it's bound to happen (#handbagphilosophy).
To test out Formula no. 3 which is used to protect leather from water, I decided to use it on my relatively new Good West Co. leather bag which comes in a very light natural leather color. With my past experience of the product I knew it would darken the leather. But at the same time I knew this bag needed to be protected, otherwise water spots and other oils could permanently stain the leather. So I decided to protect just one side and the bottom of the bag to see just how much of a color change would happen.
Here is a before picture of the bag:
The formula on this one is thicker than the lotion of formula no. 1 (no. 3 is more like a cream, which is expected since it's oil and wax). Since formula no. 3 is a bit thicker, it is harder to spread evenly. The smell of the new formula is better than the old one. This one smells has a spicy Christmas-y scent to it. Ok are you ready to take a look at my bad application job? Steel yourself:
Lol, pretty bad huh? But I didn't sweat it since I knew the last time I used Chamberlain's Leather Milk no. 3 it dried evenly. And yep, it did:
And for reference here is what the untreated side looks like:
Slightly lighter, but not too different from the treated side.
And finally I used Chamberlain Leather Milk Formula no.6 (which to me looks like formula no. 1 but for shoes) on my M.Gemi Docente leather shoes. Since I've been wearing them everywhere, I got some scuffs as well as some weird white spots on them:
Formula no. 6 was a lotion like no.1, but unlike no. 1 it didn't have any smell. Also unlike no. 1, there was a bit of color transfer from the leather to the. cotton applicator when using this product, but just a bit. The lotion spread easily, removed the weird white spots and made the shoes look like new:
I'm definitely going to be using this to condition and revamp my leather shoes every season.
So if you're looking for something to protect and condition all your leather goods, I can't recommend Chamberlain's products enough. Their products are non-toxic and they work! A quick scroll through their blog shows you how well they know how to take care of leather. I'm tempted to go thrift shopping and find the most beat up leather item and see if I can't make it look as good as new with their products.