Trending Up & Rockin’ Out

In my years working in the makeup biz, I’ve kept my eye on one place in particular, Ulta. The one-stop cosmetics shop – with its unique retail approach – has shown nothing but dramatic growth since I was an employee there myself 11 years ago. I swung by the recent grand opening of Towson Commons’ new store – the third new one in Maryland this year – to see what differentiated the chain now, besides its great mix of salon, high-end and drugstore brands of cosmetics and non-pushy service.

Over the past four to five years Ulta has brought in boutique installations like Clinique, Lancôme, and Bare Minerals. But, who knew this year that there would be a MAC store within the store added to the mix? Here artists Cody Odachowski and Monica Harkins give us a Mac smack, using some of the line’s famed lip colors!

Around a corner and another unexpected offering at Ulta – The Body Shop line of nature-inspired products.

I also found cosmetic giant Esteé Lauder’s new installation with some its top skews, like Advanced Night Repair, Pleasures Perfume, and Double Wear Foundation – a 25-year favorite of busy media personalities and many a girl-on-the-go.

After exploring a select collection of Dior mascara and Nars cosmetics, I found Monica Harkins again at the Benefit Brow Bar where they offer facial waxing and makeup services on demand. (Appointments are okay, too. She does stay busy!)

The best part is they’ll touch you up after the waxing, so your makeup is picture perfect.

Not letting the Ulta stop-off slow me down, I headed east to Sky Loft F Rental Studio – a cool photo studio in Highlandtown – with my new Ulta purchases to glam up my rock star friend Athena Hiotis for her new promo pics with her agency, Pop Riot Music Group. We went with a more subdued look; a little smudgy liner, powder foundation, pale nude pink lips and bronzer for contour – all by Ulta’s own brand of cosmetics. After my earlier “explorations,” how could I not?!

For look number two, hair stylist Samantha Keeter straightened and teased her hair while I added dramatic contour and highlight with brown and white eyeshadow, fake lashes, Ulta glitter top coat to the lips, and made the eyes a little more rock glam by covering her entire lid in Ulta’s smokey eye pencil. It doesn’t know that it’s not a quick change eye shadow too!

Rock on!

About Owen O'Donnell

Owen Michael O'Donnell is a 16-year cosmetic veteran based proudly in Baltimore. The busy makeup artist has worked everywhere from Saks Fifth Avenue to Sephora (as a manager), as well as several salon/spa chains. His work has been featured in magazines such as Elle, Cosmo, Girl's Life, Baltimore Style, Health, Self, Baltimore Mag, as well as many commercials and fashion events. Owen is a regular fixture on Baltimore TV news, both on-camera and behind the scenes. He also guest teaches at local beauty schools and heads up a cosmetics program for cancer patients at a local hospital. The native Baltimorean has always thought of the city and its environs as a series of unique villages - each with its own panache and memorable characters. He’s always struck by how much style there is and frustrated with just how easy it is to miss if you don’t know where to look. Owen will be using his highly trained eye to focus on some of the latest fashion and beauty trends that he spots around town (and maybe even giving us the skinny on how to achieve those looks ourselves!)

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