Backstage Pass

James Deakin: Driving cars and causes

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C! MAGAZINE’S James Deakin

James Deakin lives a life many boys dream of, test driving exotic cars and writing and talking about them in C! Magazine or his online show “Counterflow.” This motoring journalist, events host and celebrity in his own right has driven everything from city cars to  open-wheel Formula One cars. Lately, what he’s most passionate about is driving a new cause.

No stranger to knocking a few drinks when catching up with friends, Deakin has always been bothered with the issue of drunk driving. With the help of Lifeline Rescue, he conceived the “Driver on Call” program, where motorists can call certified emergency medical technicians who could drive them home safely. Motorists can dial 16-911 and avail themselves of the service that only costs P500.

For aspiring motoring journalists, who seek to follow in James’ footsteps and maybe even be the spokesperson for a worthy cause someday, I thought to dig deeper into his love for cars, pet peeves and maintenance rituals to learn what keeps a gearhead going.

I decided to make this my advocacy because…

I am a motoring journalist. I felt I could do more with my position and be remembered for being more than just that guy who drove really cool cars, and save a few lives in the process.

I noticed that…

The only reason that otherwise good, law-abiding citizens  end up driving after having a few too many is because they don’t want to leave their cars behind.

In my line of work, it’s always important to…

Look alert, clean and appear very respectable. Nobody tosses the keys to a Ferrari, a Porsche or a $2-M Ferrari if you look like something the cat dragged in.

My best drive so far was in…

Hands down, the Prost Formula One car in the south of France.

The part of my job most people don’t know about is…

I’ve never gotten a discount on a new car.

 

The men’s fashion accessory I have the most of is…

Formula One and other motor sports caps. I also have quite a few messenger bags, but that is only because I haven’t found the perfect one until last Christmas when I got a Tumi bag that fits the iPad Mini perfectly.

When people get in my car, I hate it when they…

FERNANDO Alonso’s eight-year-old Renault cap that was signed by the double world champion himself (and his teammate)

Smoke, eat, put fingerprints on the windows or (heaven forbid) put their feet up on the dash.

Just like his car, a man always has to…

Be clean, fit (well-maintained) and reliable.

A personal hygiene ritual most men can do in their car is…

Shave.

The grooming product I always have in my car is…

Calvin Klein Eternity Cologne, nail clippers and my Braun Series 7 electric razor. Most men I know in Manila don’t use electric razors because it sticks to their skin (instead of gliding over smoothly like in the ads) and doesn’t give them a close shave. That usually happens because they are used to shaving in the bathroom after a shower when their bodies are warm and it is always hot and humid. For best results, it should be in a cool dry place (like the air-conditioned cabin of a car), plus it is a great way to make the most of traffic.

When it comes to grooming myself,  I never forget to…

Clip my nails. Aside from poor dental hygiene, there’s nothing worse than dirty fingernails.

The bath products I’ve trusted for years are…

Arm and Hammer stick deodorant, L’Occitane Verbena liquid soap and Gillette Mach 3 razors.

A few bath products  I use, but really belong to my wife are…

Her hairbrush, her tweezers, her L’Occitane lotion (Verbena), her bath salts (Rustan’s Essenses) and especially blended bespoke Eucalyptus and Peppermint massage oil I gave her as a gift once.

“My choice products come from Rustan’s Department Store; bath and body products from Watson’s.”

L’OCCITANE Verbena liquid soap

To book a “Driver on Call,” dial Lifeline’s Hotline 16-911 or alternative numbers 8392520 to 30 and 0917-5416911. Leave 30 minutes advanced notification to allow for the timely dispatch of the Lifeline vehicle. It costs P500 per trip within Metro Manila, paid after the service.

Lifeline dispatches a company vehicle with two drivers: Driver 1 drives the client’s vehicle (with the client as a passenger) and Driver 2 follows behind them in the Lifeline vehicle to ensure safety and to pick up Driver 1 after the job is completed. For more info, visit www.lifeline.com.ph.

Nail tips

James Deakin knows that there’s nothing girly about keeping your nails clean. Here are some handy pointers that produce one hell of a good-lookin’ handshake.

1) Moisturize. We know, we know, it’s a little girly, but applying lotion can help prevent cracked and painful skin. The Body Shop Almond Hand and Nail Butter’s neutral scent is perfect for daily application. If you insist on keeping some at work, keep it in a drawer and apply discreetly.

2) Smooth the edges. Nail files are just as important as they are embarrassing, but having your nails fully rounded will keep you from picking at them. Don’t try to use the little file on your clippers—get a real one.

3) Don’t cut your cuticle. It’s the thin layer of skin that grows over the base of each nail. It’s not sanitary, and it’s not safe. Push it back after you shower, when your skin is softest.

4) Leave a little bit of white at the tips of your nails. Cutting too close to the nail bed can cause infections and frustration when you find a spare penny. It’s time to trim when you touch the end of your finger and can feel your nail.

5) No buffing, not ever. A slight natural shine looks presentable, but more than that and you’ll have a hard time convincing someone that you’re not wearing polish.

For professional nail cleaning at budget-friendly prices, visit I Do Nails at 3/F Eastwood Mall, Eastwood City, Quezon City. It’s tucked in a corner where you are concealed from passers-by. For appointments, call 0917-5315365 or 2345756. Visit www.idonailseastwood.com.

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