Putting The Best Face On A Bad Economy

Kelly Canzone

Kelly Canzone knows first hand how to put the best face on a bad economy.

"A woman can't afford to go out a buy a new suit or a new outfit or weekly therapy, but she can afford a $13 lipstick," Canzone said.

She sells make-up for the Mary Kay cosmetic company - lots of makeup, CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports.

How does the economy look from where he stands?

"Wonderful. My husband and I joke sometimes that there's a recession happening, but not in our house," she said.

She was a full time psychotherapist making $60 an hour, when she decided to shrink her practice and grow this business. Start up cost was just $100 for her first supplies.

She now helps train other sales ladies.

Is she making much more money?

"I would say probably not quite double what I was making as a therapist, but probably about a third more," she said.

In the midst of declines in almost every other industry, make-up - at least affordable makeup - is taking off.

At the same time the economy started tanking last year, mass-market skin care sales were up as much as 11 percent. Grooming products were up 15 percent.

All that helps makes make-up an attractive way to make up for fading prospects in other businesses, like construction. Laura Grieco is an electrician trainee struggling to make it. So, she's started selling make-up too.

"It's just nice to see that extra money throughout the week that can help supplement for hours that I may not be getting," Grieco said.

They say to look good is to feel good. And these days when there's very little about the economy that feels good, selling cosmetics still looks good.

  • Richard Schlesinger
    Richard Schlesinger

    Correspondent, "48 Hours," "CBS Evening News"