Ever since I moved to New York and my disposable income went the way of the dinosaurs, my neighborhood dollar store has become one of my favorite places to shop.

It used to be that I'd stop by just to stock up on household cleaners, toilet paper and various oddities (where ELSE can you find a small pouch of naturally colored, shiny river rocks to line the bottom of your betta fish bowl?). But lately, I've been noticing another side of the dollar store -- a more... beautiful side... That's right: Crazy cheap beauty tools and products!

There are way more than you might assume -- so I popped into the fabulous 99 Cents and Up! store in Astoria, NY, to enlighten those of you who still think buying your beauty necessities at Walgreens is budget shopping. Well, consider those prices CHOPPED. Because, really, what's more beautiful than saving tons of cash?

(All photos: Nora Crotty. All photo backdrops: 99 Cents and Up!, Astoria.)

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