For some reason, I have been wanting to burn my hard-earned money and purchase a high-end wax. Over the past few years, every time I’ve gone to pull the credit card out of my wallet, I’ve closed my web browser and decided against it. I really wanted to buy Swissvax Concorso. There is something about Swissvax as a company that appeals to me. For some reason, I just never pulled the trigger.
I saw quite a few reviews on Auto Finesse Spirit and Illusion carnuba waxes. Let me be honest, Auto Finesse packaging really turns me off. It makes me think “Jersey Shore.” I just don’t think their branding reflects high quality products. I’ve avoided them for quite some time.
As you may be able to tell from some of my blog posts, I’m a bit of a Detailer’s Domain follower. Phil and his blog have led me away from the avid amateur ranks of a being a Griot’s Garage supporter toward the more professional grade hobbyist that I have become. Detailer’s Domain switched a lot of their product use to Auto Finesse (AF), so after some apprehension, I have followed closely behind.
I’ve used their Citrus Cleaner, Obliterate, and Iron Out with great success. Now to blaspheme a bit, Auto Geek had a ridiculous sale on all products with free shipping (Detailer’s Domain didn’t have in stock), so I jumped in a jar of Desire.
At the time the retail was $179.00, but I got 25% off and free shipping to take away some of the pain. This certainly made it more
Naturally, I prepped the paint with a 50/50 Chemical Guys Citrus Red Shampoo/Adams APC wash mixture, AF Iron Out decontaminate, Auto Scrub, Menzerna SF4500 finishing polish, and IPA wipe down. My paint looked good prior, but I did take the time to do a quick jeweling polish prior to AF Desire application.
I already mentioned my displeasure with the branding, but the packaging is decent enough. It comes in a cardboard black box and a typical heavy plastic tub. It’s packaging certainly isn’t as nice as Swissvax’s, but I guess I’d rather keep my $100+ and have a more basic box.
I know Auto Finesse has their own applicator pad that is designed to fit the tub, but I wasn’t able to find one anywhere that had them in stock. Maybe it’s to create the optical illusion that you are getting more for your money, but why make a container that doesn’t fit a regular sized waxing pad? The opening is annoyingly small. Too small to get a nice even, light coating on you pad. This isn’t a deal breaker, but I would want a larger container. Maybe there is a reason why, but I think most manufacturers use a similar size. I thinks it’s dumb.
First, let me comment on the smell. Oh my, the smell! To me, it smells better than pretty much anything else in the world. It smells better than my new baby girl. It makes me want to wax my toolbox to ensure my garage retains the incredible fragrance. My garage smelled great for days afterwards.
Now, I’m pretty sure you could simply wipe on a panel and immediately wipe off (WOWO), but I decided to err on the side of caution and apply a thin layer to the entire car. I started at the front right quarter panel and worked my way around the entire car. I wiped off the starting panel about 30 minutes after finishing the rest.
I laid it on super thin. Despite my complaining about tub size, I think I only needed to put more wax on the applicator five total times for the whole car. Auto Finesse recommends at least a 3 hour curing time before layers, but I let the car sit overnight before adding a second layer.
Wiping off with a microfiber towel was easy enough. I wouldn’t say it was the easiest wax to remove in the world, but it certainly wasn’t hard. Did I mention the smell? Heaven!
One of my favorite properties of an LSP (Last Step Product) is its ability to reject water. I think that is why I liked Sonax Polymer Net Shield sealant so much until the FL spring pollen annihilated it a month after application. It beads like crazy.
This is going to be a little hard for me to explain. The beading of water during a wash with this wax is good. It’s not great, just good. It’s certainly not as good as most sealants or as good as Collinite 845.
How do I say this? I drove my car in a heavy down-pour after a wash, and I swear the car was dry and relatively clean when I arrived at my destination. It’s as if the dirt that typically sticks to my white car didn’t adhere like normal. And the usual pools of water were completely gone and dry. So it doesn’t bead as impressively, but it keeps junk and gets the water off the car in a superior fashion. I think of it as more go than show. Beading is cool, but cleanliness is paramount in my book. It appears to be doing a better job than anything I’ve experienced.
At first, I was pretty underwhelmed. This probably has a lot to do with me owning a bright white car. Clean, dirty, waxed, or not; it all looks pretty much the same. I wasn’t particularly sure what I was expecting. I hadn’t really thought about it much. I had been using bare sealants like Sonax Polymer Net Shield or Menzerna Powerlock sometimes topping with my go-to Collinite 845. I’ve also used a bunch of lower cost carnubas from various manufacturers. For me, the correction was more important than the LSP.
Well, after having it on the car for a while, this “expensive” wax is worth every penny. It really is pretty remarkable. I realized, I had been looking at the car in the garage or in the shade. Once I got it out in the sun, I came to the conclusion that I have never seen this level of depth and clarity of shine. It reminds me of why I don’t like coatings like Opti-Coat and C-Quartz. You can’t replicate this “buttery” look of a high-grade carnuba.
Finesse, but I’m an all-or-nothing kind of guy. If there is a “best,” I want it. So far this wax has changed my opinion on an LSP not mattering as much. I say, break out the wallet, and buy it!
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