When it comes to mechanics, I’m no good. In fact, I was no good. After two full rally seasons I am a little less terrible at mechanics. I have to admit that the lack of budget taught me how important it is to know exactly what car parts I need and what is the real price – and obviously, where they’re supposed to be mounted on the car and what role they play :)). Especially when it comes to junkyard used parts, it was a great challenge negotiating with the junkyard dealers who, when hearing a woman’s voice on the phone, pumped up the price with about 20%-25%. 

The thing with shopping for used car parts is quite similar to shopping for cosmetics. You test out various suppliers, find out what works for you, what the price is, what the ‘essentials’ are. Sometimes, you can find parts on OLX (the Romanian eBay) at strangely low prices and you get so excited as if it were Black Friday. 

My first test in ‘shopping for parts’ happened this summer, after I crashed the car, rolling over. It wasn’t exactly a short shopping list: front axle support, bumper, hood, fenders, windshield, a side mirror (absolutely consumable, I changed about three this year alone) were part of the bare necessities. In a way, I found it funny thinking that choosing the parts of the car body from the used parts yard is a lot like choosing moisturisers, for the effect they give: impeccable texture, even colour, flawlessness – for a blank canvas, ready to ‘brand’. 

The mission wasn’t exactly as difficult as it would seem, because I already know a few people who stopped trying to patronise me and who now offer me the right price and usually have Sandero parts in stock. And now comes the part where probably most of my male readers will close this article – BUT, out of sheer curiosity, you should read it to the end, to see how much fun I can have as a ‘woman in motorsports. 

When it comes to skincare during rally, the principle is KISS – ‘keep it simple, stupid’. On the one hand, so I don’t have to carry too much luggage with me, to Tudor’s delight, on the other hand, because I have neither the time, nor the inclination to put 5 creams, serums, toners and other stuff on my skin. Along the years, I simplified my routine to its bare bones and some of the products I use are those from Apivita which are, first of all, natural, and then, can be used by men (bonus for those of you who have read this far.)

During the rally, I always have on me a lip balm and a Greek Mountain Tea face water which hydrates, cools and helps me keep off a lot of the dust throughout the day. I also have a SPF30 sunscreen which I use in the morning – it’s a must-have, because while wearing the racing underwear, a small part of my face stays uncovered, taking most of the UV rays straight on, non-stop. And, you know, it’s the only skin that comes out in the photos. I use the cleansing milk at night, before the exfoliating gel which deeply cleans the dirt of the day. The face mask is for the Sunday indulgence time, when my face is very dry after two days in the race car, where temperatures can reach 50-60 Celsius. 

Girls: sometimes it’s liberating to allow yourself to keep everything to an absolute minimum, and if we use only natural ingredients, it’s even better. Not every day of my life looks like this. At home, I have my drawers with all sorts of creams and serums, but ever since I started racing, I learnt how important it is to be happy with less stuff that work just as well – on the one hand, due to budget constraints which is reserved mostly for the rally, and on the other hand, I found a solution which makes my skin happy. 

Guys: you see, it’s not rocket science? And if you have issues with your complexion, 1 or 2 products might actually help. 

And I could continue with a comparison between make-up and motor oil, elements of mecanics and other parts with codes and exact specifications (insufferable accessory belt, I’m looking at you) but I’ll wait until I will have gathered enough great makeup items to show you. In the end, Emoticar is a blog about #carstories, so why not include fashion & beauty with a twist.

Thank you Apivita for keeping it real! 

*Yes, the photos have peonies because I shot them in May. I wrote here about what happened since then.