About City Lips

By HighYa Staff
Updated on: May 6, 2018

Using a unique collagen peptide technology to hydrate and moisturize at the cellular level, City Lips promises to help you experience plumper, younger-looking lips, with fewer lines and wrinkles, in just 10 minutes.

Per City Lips’ website, apply one even coat on your lips anytime you want using the built-in soft brush. If you’d like to add color, wait two minutes. Then, you can add a second layer of City Lips for an added boost of shine and volume—it will even act as a sealant to help your lipstick look better and last longer.

For semi-permanent results within 30 days, you can apply nightly before bedtime as well, and you won’t have to worry about burning, irritation, numbness or harsh side effects.

These all seem like great benefits, for sure. But when it comes down to it, does City Lips really feature cutting edge beauty technology? How does it compare to the competition? Which options might deliver the most value?

In this article, we’ll dig in and discuss what we learned during our research.

What Causes Less-Than-Stellar Lips?

Like the rest of the skin on your body, your lips contain three layers consisting primarily of the proteins keratin, collagen, and elastin.

When we’re young, these proteins are abundant and give our skin its taut, smooth texture. Due to the normal aging process, as well as premature aging caused by environmental factors like UV exposure, smoking, and pollution, these proteins become less abundant, leading to skin that wrinkles and sags.

Unlike most of the other skin on your body, though, the protective layer (stratum corneum) covering the outer layer of our lips is very thin. Our lips also don't contain oil glands, which means they're especially prone to environmental stresses from the sun, weather, dehydration, and just everyday use.

Combined, lips tend to droop, become thinner, and form cracks and wrinkles as we get older, sometimes faster than the surrounding skin.

What Ingredients Does City Lips Use to Plump Your Pout?

According to the ingredients listed on their website, the product contains the following:

Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Phenyl Trimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, PPG-51/SMDI Copolymer, Silica, Petrolatum, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Microcrystalline Wax, Tribehenin, Glycerin, Octyldodecyl PCA, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Water, Caprylyl Glycol, Benzyl Nicotinate, Flavor, Cetyl Tallowate, O-Cymen-5-OL, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sucrose Distearate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Ceramide 2, PEG-10 Phytosterol, Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Saccharin, Sarcosine, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Magnesium Aspartate, Potassium Aspartate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate

We’re not chemists here at HighYa, but according to third-party websites that most consumers would have access to, like Truth In Aging, WebMD, and EWG.org, most of City Lips’ ingredients act as common emollients, moisturizers, skin conditioning and thickening agents, preservatives, penetration enhancers, dispersing agents, solvents, and fragrances.

Many of these are what you might expect to find in other sunscreens (especially hydrogenated polyisobutene and VP/hexadecene copolymer) and skincare products, since they help provide water retention and wear resistance.

What about the collagen peptide technology referenced on City Lips’ website? While they didn’t confirm anything specific, according to LotionCrafter, dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline is also known as the proprietary ingredient Sepilift, which “firms the tissues by stimulating the contraction of collagen fibers, by protecting the skin fibers from enzymatic lysis or breakdown and scavenges free radicals.”

Whether in the synovial fluid in joints, skin, or the receptor surfaces of cells, the sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid; proprietary formulation, Celadrin) in City Lips provides several functions in the human body, especially related to cushioning and lubrication. Although they also point out that, “there is no evidence to support the claim that taking it by mouth or applying it to the skin can prevent changes associated with aging.”

However, HA has been shown to hold 1,000 times its weight in water, so it may deliver a temporary plumping effect to areas where it’s applied. But we didn’t encounter any cumulative clinical evidence indicating this can provide a ‘semi-permanent’ effect with regular use.

According to Paula’s Choice, palmitoyl hexapeptide-12 is a synthetic peptide that blends “several amino acids, including glycine, histidine, and lysine … Theoretically, many peptides have skin-restoring abilities, and this is one of the newer synthetic options that is believed to help skin look and act younger."

Finally, these sites summarized that palmitoyl oligopeptide, also known as Matrixyl 3000, has limited clinical research indicating that it may help skin produce more collagen. This is the same “new class of oligopeptides” referenced in the ABC News video clip featured on one of City Lips’ websites.

Will this blend of ingredients cause any side effects?

Are There Any Potential Side Effects With City Lips?

Per City Lip’s commercial, you won’t have to worry about any side effects commonly associated with lip plumpers, including burning, irritation, or numbness. And based on what we learned from many of the sites referenced in the previous section, this seems to be the case in most instances.

However, while EWG ranked butylene glycol as a low overall hazard, they also noted that its most common side effect is mild skin irritation, which might be something to keep in mind if you’re especially sensitive to beauty products.

How Much Does City Lips Cost?

Available in Clear Advanced, Nude York, Orchid, Sangria, Tokyo Kiss, Sun Diego, Tinsel Town, Holly, Los AngeLips, and Plum Springs colors, City Lips was priced as follows:

  • 1 Tube: $35
  • 2 Tubes: $66
  • 3 Tubes: $87

After ordering, the company tells us your package will leave their facilities within 24 hours and will usually arrive at your doorstep within 3-5 business days. Applied 2-3 times per day, as well as at night, they claim each tube will last 4-6 weeks.

Regardless of the quantity, all orders come with a 60-day money back guarantee, less S&H. In order to request one, customer support can be reached at 800 347-1558.

Are There Any City Lips Customer Reviews?

Since writing our original review, six HighYa readers chimed in about their experiences, giving the lip plumper an average rating of five stars. Common compliments related to more voluminous and hydrated lips, without side effects.

On Amazon and Makeup Alley, City Lips had 3.3 and 3.5-star ratings respectively, with many of the same compliments referenced on HighYa. Frequent customer complaints appeared to revolve around no results and side effects (typically irritation).

From a company perspective, City Cosmetics is based out of Salt Lake City, UT and held a B- Better Business Bureau rating and one closed complaint (as of 4/16/17). It related to difficulty obtaining a refund, to which the company hadn’t responded.

Obviously, this is only intended to act as an overview of the situation, and not to insinuate you’ll experience any of the same with City Lips, or any of the company’s other products.

Speaking of other products …

Does City Lips’ Advanced Formula Have Any Competition?

Type, “lip plumper” or “lip enhancer” into any search engine and you’ll be met with hundreds of relevant options. You could almost certainly find at least a couple options browsing the aisles of local retailers with beauty sections, as well.

Price-wise, you could find some as low as $20, with others well in excess of $100.

Given this, how can you choose between all these competing lip plumpers?

The Beauty Insiders recommends that you start by taking a look at the product’s manufacturer and their online customer feedback. Based on what we learned during our research, the general customer consensus seemed to be positive when it came to City Cosmetics’ products. And at $35 (if ordering just one tube), it was priced at the lower end of the spectrum, too.

For example, Lipsation’s $69 will provide the same hyaluronic acid as this lip plumper, but the company didn’t provide additional information about its formulation. Also, many customers reported less-than-stellar experiences here on HighYa.

Whole formulation-wise, at $50, Idol Lips provided many of the same ingredients as City Lips, although not necessarily the same Sepilift blend. However, you'll find that most manufacturers promise to provide some unique formulation or technology that delivers better (or at least different) results than the competition.

According to their website, City Lips’ formulation was tested by Good Housekeeping in 2004, which found it increased lip volume by an average of three millimeters. In a 2007 follow-up, comparing City Lips to five other competing formulations, they found that the “original winner is still champion.”

With this said, other popular brands priced in line with (or lower than) City Lips, that promised many of the same results, and featured similarly high customer reviews, included Physician’s Formula Plump Potion ($10), Soap & Glory Extreme Plump Lip Gloss $12, Too Faced Injection Power Lip Gloss ($22), and Estee Lauder New Dimension Plump + Fill ($42).

Our Bottom Line About City Lips

Was City Lips the least expensive lip plumper or enhancer on the market at the time of our research? No.

But keep in mind that price is only one component of overall value. In other words, as we learned from The Beauty Insiders earlier, be sure to factor in City Lips’ (and City Cosmetics’) generally positive customer consensus, the comparatively low reports of irritation, and their top spot among Good Housekeeping’s picks.

And if you find that it doesn’t deliver the value you were expecting, the company seems to stand behind their product with a 60-day refund policy, less shipping.

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156 Consumer Reviews for City Lips

Average Consumer Rating: 4.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 100 4 star: 29 3 star: 4 2 star: 8 1 star:  15
Bottom Line: 82% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 156
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  • Editor’s Note: It is our understanding that this company has been asking its customers to leave feedback on HighYa. We assure you that each of these reviews has still been subjected to the same verification & vetting process that all submitted reviews go through. Learn More Here
  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Very conditioning, nourishing, but not much plumping

    • Farmington, MO,
    • Jul 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I love the way the City Lips make my lips FEEL, but when it comes to living up to the reputation of plumping and filling in the wrinkles and fine lines, it’s a bit disappointing. It does take my normally dry lips From using the CPAP machine every night and completely restores moisture and rejuvenates them as well, but as far as plumping, and filling in my wrinkles and fine lines? No, it does none of those things.

    I would not pay any of the prices listed under the ordering options again for a nourishing lip gloss, even though it does qualify in my opinion as a lip revitalizer. I thought about trying a tinted gloss, but again, I would have to say no. They only way I would even consider paying the cheapest price I’ve found again is if they come out with a lip stain or color that is smudge, bleed, or smear proof type of color that will last all day without reapplication then being able to apply the clear over the smudge-proof color.

    My lips do FEEL nice, but LOOKS the same as when I began using this product, over 4-5 months ago.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Still waiting and ave been hit with a customs fee

    • North Wales, England,
    • Jul 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I placed an order on the 13th of June for plumping City Lips and was redirected to what I thought was a free one, which turned out it was not, and I had paid for two. But it has been three weeks now and all I have received is a customs charge for £17.79. I am disgusted that people can rip you off and try and get away with it. I have contacted them as I want it sorted out, why should I pay because they want to make a fast buck by not paying correct fees?

    I would definitely not buy these.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Not happy

    • England,
    • Jul 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have still not received my order, and it has been nearly a month now. I have tried to contact them but with no success. I am saddened that I have paid nearly 40 pounds of my hard-earned money to get nothing for it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    No change

    • Nashville, TN,
    • Jul 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been using this day and night for two weeks. Not a single change. Just sticky lips where my hair sticks to. I need to return for a refund. Very disappointed.

    I will not recommend. Save your money!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    City Lips

    • Griffin, GA,
    • Jun 30, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been using the product for several weeks and have stuck to the instructions. Unfortunately, I have seen no improvement, My advice is, don't buy it.

    I am calling today to get instructions on returning the second order I received this week.

    I truly had high hopes regarding City Lips but was sorely disappointed.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Awful

    • United Kingdom,
    • Jun 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered this product for the first time only to discover you had to pay import postage of £14 to receive my order (I have not paid). I have contacted the company for a resolution. Appalling. I won't order anything again. I was definitely taken for a fool. Shame.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Good stuff

    • Portland, OR,
    • Jun 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I just received the product. It makes my lips feel hydrated and soft, and they feel full and plumped. I am not sure if it is visible to others, but they feel great. My only complaint is that the packaging is far too elaborate. Too much waste - please consider the environment when designing packaging.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Bad customer service

    • Youngsville, LA,
    • Jun 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I placed an order on June 6th with my PayPal account. The money was taken out immediately from my account. It is now June 16th, and I still haven't received my product. I called and talked to customer service and was told that somehow the order had not been processed but would process it as soon as possible. Apology, apology, but no other solution but to mail it out via USPS, which with the holiday (Fathers Day), it might take anywhere from 3-7 business days. Even speaking to a supervisor, no other solution offered. Not satisfied at all.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 21 out 22 people found this review helpful

    Expensive lip gloss

    • North Carolina,
    • May 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am surprised to read all of the 5-star reviews. I applied this 3-4 times a day, no lipstick, and other than shiny lips, got absolutely no appearance of fuller lips. It is really expensive lip gloss. The only good thing is that I didn't have difficulties returning it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 11 out 12 people found this review helpful

    Good product

    • Marshall, VA,
    • May 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This product was easy to order and the delivery was very quick. I love the product. I have been using the clear lipstick several times a day. I will definitely order additional lipsticks. I like the way it applies and the container.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Love this stuff

    Although I haven't seen the results I've been expecting, I still love the product. It makes my lips so soft and subtle.

    I'm also waiting a bit longer to give the product more time to work on my lips. So we will see.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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Showing 1-11 of 156

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