OWEN O’DONNELL | GERTRUDE’S
A Baltimore-based makeup artist and business owner, Owen seeks to empower others through his line of work.
Owen draws inspiration from the people and places he connects with throughout the Baltimore community.
Email Owen: owen[at]withowen[dot]com
How interesting!: Owen named a shade of lipstick in his cosmetics line after his grandmother, Hilda!
What brought you to Baltimore?
I was born in Baltimore and have lived in various neighborhoods throughout the city. I am the Beauty Editor for Baltimore Style and a columnist for Baltimore Snap. I get to see a lot of sides to Baltimore and I always say you have to know it to love it—but you also just have to know it!
My favorite neighborhood is Mount Washington. I don’t think it gets the credit it deserves; it’s the perfect mix of the city and county. It’s has convenience, urban excitement, and space, giving a nod to its northern neighbor, Pikesville. Since it’s along I-83, intersecting Northern Parkway, it is the perfect melting pot of all of Baltimore’s cultures in one.
What’s your connection to Baltimore?
I’m passionate about changing people’s views of themselves, reflecting on those around them and eventually reflecting upon our city as a whole. It starts with the individual. Currently, I’m launching a Baltimore-based cosmetics line, Owen Michael’s Essentials. I think folks will appreciate the Baltimore names of some of my products, and I have pretty large plans to expand by this fall in some surprising ways. I also look forward to getting more involved with various charities, perhaps directly with my own business, than I’ve been able to in the past. I miss having time to work on more female youth empowerment projects, and I also used to work with oncology patients and even beauty school students.
What do you like about Baltimore?
The inner harbor is so therapeutic. I love seafood there and going for a good long walk. It’s like a nod to that Madonna song, the feeling of being in a whole different world every time you change neighborhoods in Baltimore. It’s all very real. It’s like having our own mini resort right there in the harbor. I’m a Pisces, so I’m drawn to water. Our little port town is so nice! I even named a key shade of lipstick in my new line “Harbor Place Holiday” for all the entrepreneurs out there, as a tribute to all those years I was working too hard or couldn’t afford a vacation or take the time for one. I would find myself just taking a day to enjoy the harbor and do whatever I wanted for a few hours.
Perception, progress, and pace are everything here. I can’t wait to see how Port Covington and many other upcoming projects connect the missing pieces. Some crucial dots are already in place; the rest will follow. It’s an exciting time!
New Baltimoreans should definitely check out:
Gertrude’s Restaurant: I’m excited to be working on ‘Twilight on the Terrace,’ which coming up on June 15, 2018 at Gertrude’s Restaurant, attached to the Baltimore Museum of Art! We’re striving to make it more exciting and get more well-known Baltimore folks and media involved. This is not just your average garden party!
I believe Gertrude’s unites a unique community identity in Baltimore with resourceful allies in a fun jazzy environment. I love going to Gertrude’s; the indoor/outdoor space always has a great mix of people. You’ll see the old guard of Baltimore and some of the funkier art crowd squeezed into one area. As you might expect in Baltimore spirit, they get along fine with great food in a luxe environment that’s well-priced.