Category Archives: Vintage Hair & Makeup

Music: Introducing Smitha

Fashion and music are such natural bedfellows. There are so many new and exciting artists out there ripe for discovery and Smitha is one of those gems. We’ve been tapped into Smitha for a while. She’s a refreshing, talented and seriously authentic (and gorgeous) singer/songwriter from our very own London Town. We were really happy to sit down and find out more about her music, style and inspirations.

Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.

How would you describe your style of music?
Melodic, expressive and heartfelt, incorporating pop, soul and folk.

Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.

What’s your process for song writing? How do you get inspired?
It’s variable! Sometimes I think of a melody or ‘hook’ first and depending on where I am, I’ll frantically sing it into my phone before I forget it and expand on the song when I get home with my guitar. Sometimes it’s the other way round and the chords come first.

I get inspiration from personal experience or at times something that has affected someone else but stirred up an emotion in me. I would like my songs to be real and relatable for others. You feel so much more connected with others then, particularly when playing live. I love it!

Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.

How would you describe your look?
I do like to mix it up and give a nod to the sixties! I have a few jeans and skirts that I wear frequently. I dress these up or down with T-shirts, laced tops, jumpers and flats or heels depending how fast I need to move! I love interesting prints, pretty details and bold colours. I have some dresses that I love wearing, particularly when the weather is warmer, which are both vintage and new! I absolutely love 60s style make-up with winged eyeliner and nude lips, and this is my go-to make-up. I also like to keep it simple and then I may add in a red lippy.

Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.

How do you decide what to wear for a performance?
It’s important for me to feel comfortable and be able to breathe! My priority is to sound the best that I possibly can but at the same I want to look like I’m performing. This gets me into the mindset that I’m not just ‘Smitha’, I’m Smitha the ‘Artist’. I tend to steer away from wearing very dark colours and for big performances I’ll wear something bold and colourful.

Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello

What do you love about vintage clothes and accessories?
Where do I start!! I love its uniqueness and knowing that it’s highly unlikely that anyone else will be wearing that same item. I love the quality of the clothing. These items really do stand the test of time. I love the fact that there is a story behind these items and then I imagine I’ve stepped back in time! I love mixing vintage up with newer items of clothing. Actually I have added vintage pieces into my performance wear at gigs, including dresses, scarves and skirts.

Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.

What’s your favourite way to perform? Festivals, small intimate venues, in the studio?
I love all of these venues for different reasons and I think it’s important for me to do them all. Festivals are great for my more up-tempo and groovier tunes, they help to get the crowd interested and engaged. The smaller venues are more intimate and brilliant for the slower songs and trying out new material. I love performing live, but the studio is essential to get the music recorded with a few takes if needed!

Any advice for aspiring musicians?
Practice, perform, practice, write, practice, perform, write, practice, record, write, practice…..you get the idea!! It is really important to know your songs very well, this means that when you do perform them in front of an audience, you’ll be nervous but not a complete wreck and feel confident about them. You’ll mess up sometimes, but that’s ok, everyone does. Get involved with your local music scene. Meet and collaborate with other musicians. I’m learning so much from others and I’m sure I’ll always be learning. Go to open mic nights and try out new material. It’s not all smooth sailing but remind yourself now and again why you are doing this, as sometimes the reason for this can be lost, and keep coming back to it – put a post-it on your bathroom mirror! For most it will be for the pure love and passion for music. Thinking about this has kept me going through any rough patches. Surround yourself with positive people who support and believe in you. Also remember to have fun and enjoy yourself!

Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.
Wearing pieces from Style By Portobello clothing and accessories archive. Styled by Style By Portobello.

Where can we next see you performing?
On 10th December, I’ll be performing at Nomad Club in Old Street, London. Then on 15th December, I’m performing with some other acoustic artists as part of the Icarus Club, Pelton Arms, in Greenwich, London. My biggest gig in the diary so far is at Jimmy’s Farm Festival next summer. It’s brilliant fun there and I’ll be performing on the main stage. I’ll also be in the recording studio again in preparation to release my debut EP next year.

Website smithamusic.com Twitter @smithamusic

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SBP Team x

Summer Crops: Vintage Pixie Cuts & Short Hairstyles from the Past

Do you dare to wear a crop? Here at Style By Portobello, we really admire  a woman who braves the summer chop and goes lighter with the locks for a more care-free appearance. If you’ve been contemplating getting a summer crop, here are 8 fabulous short hairstyles from way back when; let this blast from the past give you some vintage hair inspiration!

vintage short hairstyles twiggy

Twiggy is just an inspiration in every department; from her Mary Quant minidresses to her iconic 60s eye makeup, we simply can’t get. But when it comes to the pixie cut, we bow down to her. If you have pretty doll-like features like Twiggy, this boyish pixie hairstyle will suit you perfectly.

vintage short hairstyles liza minelli

Liza Minelli also made a huge hair statement back in the 60s with her dark boy cut. Often teamed with big eye makeup and plenty of accessories (big earrings or bold neckscarves), she really rocked this look.

vintage short hairstyles Louise Brooks

For something with a bit more drama or pazazz, try this 1920s cropwith a strong fringe. The 20s was a major turning point in women’s fashion; this was tthe ‘Jazz age’ when women were liberated to wear trousers or slightly shorter skirts. Women wore loose dresses with dropped waistlines and chopped their hair as a statement. Comfort and fashion finally came together.

vintage short hairstyles marilyn

Marilyn Monroe’s 60s short haircut was always full of volume. So if you’re worried about moving over to the tomboy side a bit too much, try a curly, wavy creation like this one.

Linda Evangelista short hair

Linda Evangelista was one of the original ‘super models’ of our time and she influenced millions of women everywhere to brave the hair scissors during the late 80s and 90s. To pull off Linda’s supermodel haircut, you need to look after it and keep it looking healthy and shiny. Time to add Moroccan hair oil to your shopping list.

vintage short hair mia farrow

Mia Farrow is another icon from the 60s who sported the short pixie haircut. What we really love about her style is the un-brushed, slightly wild, just-got-out-of-bed look.  So effortless.

Keri Russell short hair

Actress Keri Russell has been known for her flowing curly locks. Her long tight curls have been her signature style since the early 90s. But she surprised the world with a nail-biting chop in 2000 and we just love it. Why? Because it means that curly haired vixens can get the pixie cut too. Go ahead girls, let those waves  go wild above the ears.

vintage short hairstyles jean seberg

Another simple yet beautiful crop top from Jean Seberg, American actress of the 50s and 60s. If you have fine or soft hair, this look will work perfectly for you. It’s very Parisian chic.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our little round-up of the best vintage short hairstyles from the 20s, 50s, 60s, 80s and 90s. We just love everything vintage here at Style By Portobello; if you do too, don’t forget to sign up for our UK vintage style subscription box. Take our quick style questionnaire and get hand-curated items delivered to your door each month. So simple, it’s almost criminal.

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SBP Team x 

Vintage Make-Up Looks for Today

You’d be surprised at just how much we’ve learnt from beauties of decades passed. Our favourite modern make-up looks are all derived from some of the most iconic faces to have graced our TV screens, and many of these looks (albeit with a contemporary touch) look just as wonderful today. Here are some fantastic vintage make-up looks that work with our modern day wardrobes.

TWENTIES SMOKEY EYE

20s smokey eye makeup

This is one of the most iconic makeup looks of all time, don’t you agree? Every girl has done it, and every girl can do it. This simple makeup trick comes from the 1920s and was seen on Hollywood movie stars such as Clara Bow and Louise Brooks. Today, it’s the quickest way of turning daytime eyes into ready-to-party eyes and it’s oh so glam and sexy.

FIFTIES CLASSIC RED LIP

50s classic red lip makeup

The “classic red lip” runs through every single decade. There’s no doubt that the red lipstick is every girl’s best friend, no matter what age, style, era or time of year. But it was certainly prominent in the 50s due to something called Colour Keying; a makeup matching trick to ensure that blondes, brunettes and red-heads all had their perfect colour chart. And of course, no colour chart is complete without the perfect shade of red.

SIXTIES CAT EYE FLICK

60s eyelashes cat eye flick

We just can’t get enough of 60s eye makeup right now! There were two key makeup looks in the 1960s; either big doll lashes and white eyeshadow (Twiggy) or the simple and sexy cat eye flick (Brigitte Bardot). For both, go easy on the lippy. Because unlike the 50s, lips were secondary and eyes were the main focus. Today, rocking big lashes is great for a night out and the cute cat flick eyeliner is fab for jazzing up barely-there makeup during the day.

EIGHTIES CONTOURING 

80s makeup contour madonna

It goes without saying that every girl needs to learn how to contour. Whether you love or hate the Kimmy K makeup look, contouring can make your best bits better and your worst bits less noticeable. Using the art of shading and highlighting, we can make our faces look slimmer, noses look smaller, cheeks look more defined, eyes look larger and brows more lifted. Here Madonna has taken contouring to the extreme but if you prefer a subtle look, you can contour with gentle brush strokes and a lighter shade of bronze.

NINETIES VAMP LIPSTICK

vampy-90s-makeup

There are so many makeup looks from the 90s…..so many that we probably need to leave well alone! But if we’ve learnt anything from this mixed up decade of overplucked brows, brown lipliner and chunky blonde highlights, it’s that vamp = hot. Vamp lips can look amazing on every skintone (if executed correctly) and some of today’s hottest makeup brands such as MAC, Illamasqua and Nars are all recreating dark, sultry shades, taking us from 90s dark plum to some daring shades of purple, blue or even grey.  It’s a daring look but we just love it.