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Meet Trailblazer Renae Goodhew

Today we’d like to introduce you to Renae Goodhew.

Renae, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in South Bend, Indiana and attended Ball State University where I received a degree in Theater Production and Design with a minor in Art. I always knew that I wanted to be a makeup artist and move out to Los Angeles, but it wasn’t until I finished college that I finally made that leap.

Once settled, I enrolled in Cinema Makeup School where I was taught every fundamental aspect of beauty and special effects application over an intensive 6-month curriculum. It was at the Cinema that I met Lee Joyner, an amazing sculptor and SFX artist, who over the years has become a great mentor and friend. Still to this day I go to him for guidance.

After completion of the program at Cinema, I began outlining goals and setting plans in place to achieve them. As anyone who works in this industry knows, this was not easy. But before I knew it, I started landing jobs with various SFX Labs and then worked as a freelance makeup artist doing lower budget shoots (i.e., independent horror films, short films, photo shoots, etc.) to gain further name recognition. Eventually, my rapport in the industry grew, and I started receiving requests to manage multiple departments in the areas of Beauty, SFX, and Hair Design.

Currently, I am in the process of taking steps towards the next chapter in my career- applying the Local 706 makeup artist union.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I would love to say it was a smooth road for me, but that certainly has not been the case. This career has definitely tested my limits, both as an artist and as a female working in the film industry. As a woman in the industry, I have had many instances where so-called “directors” or “writers” would want to meet with me to discuss a potential project. Because I was so eager for work, I would blindly walk into these meetings only to realize that they were nothing more than desperate attempts to bring a pretty face around their drinking buddies. Of course, this has not always been the case. You learn to wise-up quickly. My advice is to do research on anyone you are meeting with, as best you can. And use your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

But no matter the gender, I always tell newcomers that you absolutely have to love this job, or you will never survive it! I love what I do. I live and breath makeup! I love creating characters, doing makeup, learning new things and always pushing myself to be the best. I have also come to realize that there is not just one single way to go about doing something in order to achieve the best results. You need to create your own method and follow the path in life that works for you.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Renae (Makeup and Special Makeup Effects) – what should we know?
I am a Makeup and SFX Artist, meaning I do beauty/HD Makeup as well as prosthetic makeup, including character designs and sketching, horror makeup, fake body parts, blood gags, wounds, injury simulations, and c02 squibs. I also do hair styling for men and women as well.
People mostly recommend me for horror prosthesis and character work, but I also enjoy the occasional hair styling call.

What I am most proud of is my own brand -“Renae.” It is a lot to take on sometimes. But I have overcome so much and feel that I have grown immensely as an artist over the years. When an obstacle comes my way, I usually step back, reassess the situation and push harder. There is still a lot to accomplish, but in just witnessing my own growth and improvement over the years I am further encouraged to constantly keep evolving as an artist.

Do you feel like there was something about the experiences you had growing up that played an outsized role in setting you up for success later in life?
Growing up school never came easy for me, but I found myself gravitating towards the arts. It was in drawing, painting, and sculpting that I found my passion. From there I decided I would incorporate that into being a Makeup and SFX artist.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 574-386-9710
  • Email:
  • Instagram: makeupby_RenaeGoodhew

Image Credit:
Renae Goodhew, Morgan Goodhew, Donavan Clark, Renee Gordon , Dana Neumann

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