HomeMade is a video series produced by the Johnson City Press highlighting people in our region who still create, and do what they love for a living.
Ren Allen loves what she does, and it’s evident - and what she does can run the gamut from subtle to sublime to extravagant and outrageous.
A makeup artist and world-renowned body painter, Allen has set up shop in Johnson City offering the best of both worlds. She is just as comfortable helping brides look beautiful on their big day as she is working with bodybuilding, living canvases at the Arnold Classic, or taking part in some of the largest bodypainting events in the world.
“I live and work in the mountains of Tennessee” she says, “creating glamour with makeup and shifting self-image with bodypainting. I have been working in the industry since 2001 both for myself and for a variety of cosmetic companies, including MAC cosmetics. Over the years I earned several certifications with MAC, and enjoyed an incredible career with them for over a decade.”
Allen left MAC cosmetics several years ago, when she decided to branch out on her own and follow her chosen path, and she hasn’t looked back. Her studio is located in the heart of downtown Johnson City TN - opening in 2011 and working to build a reputation for quality, beauty, and originality ever since.
“When I’m not working,” she says, “you can usually find me in the garden, or cuddling cats. I especially love to create events supporting other bodypainters in the region and sharing bodypaint as a Fine Art form. I showcase my art on bodies wherever creative minds and artful hearts take me. I continually seek education both in makeup artistry and bodypainting to keep my skills current.”
Her competitions (current UV bobypainting champion of North America, ranked #5 nationally in the pro bodypainting category) and events have allowed her to travel around the world, but she remains here in East Tennessee because of the people she calls family, and the relationships she has been able to build with others in the region.
“This isn't a job” she says, “it's a lifestyle.”
Find out more about Faces by Ren at her website, or pay her a visit at her studio downtown.