Emelia Hartford is no stranger to breaking the mold. At 28 years old, Hartford has already made a name for herself in the car and driver world, one traditionally—and emphatically—reserved for men. When she’s not racing, building, or setting world-records for both, Hartford is also an accomplished actress and producer (she stars in Sony’s Gran Turismo, set to hit theaters in August) and a reverent mental-health advocate. But it’s what she does after crossing the finish line and wrapping the last scene that might come as a surprise to her followers.
“My passion for wellness and beauty may be a bit of a surprise for my audience, but it’s something I want to start sharing more of,” Hartford tells NewBeauty of the side rarely shared with her almost two-million followers across Youtube and Instagram. “Going to the spa and turning my brain off is one of my favorite ways to spend a day off. I think most people think I like to spend my days at the race track, which is true, but I also need to find a balance.”
Ahead, we chat with Hartford about her young start behind the wheel, false stereotypes she continues to debunk and her “secret” passion for all things beauty and wellness.
When did your fascination with cars and driving begin?
“I always thought it was around 15-16 when it was time to get my first car. It was only recently that my mom told me that as a toddler, when I was around 2-3 years old, I had a toy car I would bomb down hills with. I also was much more into Tonka trucks and Hot Wheels than I was Barbies, so I guess the answer is ever since I was young.”
What is a false assumption people often make about you?
“I’m constantly underestimated. I like to see it as a superpower; I love proving people wrong or shocking someone who couldn’t think I was as capable as I am. The biggest and most common occurrence is people thinking I have someone else do work on my cars and I just stand in for photos and video. It really speaks to the unfortunate ignorance and stereotypes that a girl can’t be into working on cars herself. I get it from both guys and girls sadly. It is slowly happening less, but is still quite common. I have worked my way up from doing everything in an apartment parking lot to having my own shop and team. I don’t ever want to take away from what my team does now, but I still get my hands dirty, and we all work together.”
What is your relationship with skin care and beauty?
“I put a ton of time and effort into taking care of my skin, my health and beauty. It’s a side I don’t normally share as much because I’m usually more focused on the cars and acting content. My nighttime skin routine is about half an hour long, and when I’m not working on cars or acting, I love a good spa trip. Spa treatments and baths are my secret hobby. I also regularly have people saying my hands look too good to be working on cars, but I always wear gloves to keep my skin in good shape and use lotion regularly.”
Can you take us through your current skin-care routine?
“Absolutely! I’m constantly learning something new every day, so any additional advice is always welcomed! My current routine is a nighttime routine, and it goes as follows, in order: Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes, Kate Somerville Exfolikate, First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads or OLEHENRIKSEN Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner, OLEHENRIKSEN True-C Complex Truth Serum, OLEHENRIKSEN Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer, OLEHENRIKSEN Wrinkle Blur Bakuchiol Eye Gel Crème, and the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask.”
What do you do for wellness or self care?
“I love taking baths. I have a stockpile of bath bombs at home (Lush are my favorite) and I also go to a spa near me that has a very nice Turkish bath that I like to do some Sundays. I feel it’s also good for my mental health because it gives me the chance to disconnect from my phone, think creatively and meditate.
I also have a body therapist who does massaging and trigger point therapy to help my body recover from my rigorous schedule. I train with a trainer three times a week and live off meal prep to keep my diet clean and my macros on track. And I love a good Hydrafacial.”
What’s something wellness or beauty related your audience would be surprised to learn about you?
“I think everything! My passion for wellness and beauty may be a bit of a surprise for my audience, but it’s something I want to start sharing more of. I am a huge advocate for mental health and do share that strongly, but rarely speak too much about wellness and beauty. Maybe of all the biggest surprises, going to the spa and turning my brain off is one of my favorite ways to spend a day off. I think most people think I like to spend my days at the race track, which is true, but I also need to find a balance.”
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