The problem with shoe polish and stain is the mess and smell. And sometimes your shoes don't need polish, they just need to have a cleaning and to have the polish that is already there blended over the scuffs that come from normal wear and tear.
I use a slice of potato to buff out the scratches and to clean away the built up dirt. And the edge of a potato slice is the perfect soft implement to dig the dirt out of the seams and the sole edge where dirt collects. Potatoes are mildly moist and minimally abrasive, perfect for finished leather.
You will be amazed at how well this method works to remove small scuffs. And it it leaves soft supple leather with no smell.
To clean up just throw out the tater and you're done. It works especially well with brown shoes that have been polished before and have more than the factory stain on them.
Slick as that! And not a fleck of dirt remains. Sometimes I have to cut a sharper shape for certain areas but that only takes a couple seconds. The dullness is gone and the polish is glossy and soft, ready for the job interview. And you won't smell like polish.