About City Lips

By HighYa Staff
Updated on: Aug 13, 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 2-7 business days (for U.S. orders). 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 or support@citybeauty.com.

Are There Any City Lips Customer Reviews?

Since writing our original review, 160 HighYa readers have chimed in about their City Lips experiences, giving the lip plumper an average rating of 4.2 stars. Common compliments related to more voluminous and hydrated lips, without side effects. The relatively few complaints frequently referenced less noticeable results than expected.

On Amazon and Makeup Alley, City Lips had three 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).

Important: According to a company representative we spoke with, “Amazon is an unauthorized reseller, so we cannot guarantee that these are our products.”

From a company perspective, City Beauty is based out of Salt Lake City, UT and held an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on 11 closed complaints, as of 8/10/18. Most related to support issues, although a company representative responded in each instance with a solution.

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 Beauty’s 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 Beauty’s) 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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170 Consumer Reviews for City Lips

Average Consumer Rating: 4.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 104 4 star: 30 3 star: 4 2 star: 11 1 star:  21
Bottom Line: 78% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 170
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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
  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Not happy

    • Tauranga, New Zealand,
    • Nov 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was looking forward to receiving the product and using it, but unfortunately, it's a big fail for me. Nothing whatsoever changed with my lips, not even a sensation that they were plumping up. It feels like all I have received is a flash packaged lip gloss. I am so glad I only bought one! I have emailed to voice my dissatisfaction...no reply. Am I surprised? Not really.

    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 is making my middle aged lips look young again

    • Kenosha, WI,
    • Oct 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've been eyeing this for months, and finally ordered it. It arrived today, and of course, I put it on immediately.

    Now, my lips weren't totally dehydrated when I put it on - I was using Laneige overnight lip mask (but during the day), and I wiped what was left of it off before I put on the City Lips.

    I immediately felt it. It wasn't a strong tingle/burn like the lip plumpers I've tried before, it was very subtle. But noticeable.

    Then over the next hour, the color began to kind of soak into my lips along with the ingredients, so the color looked more subtle/sheer, but my lips were fat and gorgeous and the outline of them well defined.

    I'm 39 and trying to hang onto a little bit of my youthfulness if I can. I'm keeping it together everywhere else, but the aging lips thing was starting to be a concern. I feel like the bad reviews here might be from people who still have youthful lips, to begin with, so don't have much progress to make with a product like this. But for me, I could see the difference right away, and I'm excited to see how it goes after I use it for a month. I'll try to come back and give an update then.

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

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    So far disappointed

    • Cheltenham, PA,
    • Oct 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I recently received my order, which came quickly. I ordered the 3 tubes offer since I thought I would give the other two as birthday gifts to friends. I have been using for two weeks now and apply it in the morning and at bedtime. I honestly don't see any difference in my lips. They are not any plumper, and small lines around my lips are still there. I am disappointed since I normally do not spend a lot of money on just regular lip gloss, which this seems to just be. I also do not want to give this as a gift now since it doesn't seem to do what it said it would do. I will give it some more time, but I may be returning this for my money back. Hopefully, that won't be a problem.

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

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Caused rough, dry, scaly lips

    • Tukwila, WA,
    • Oct 2, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I only used this product for two days (morning and night). In that short period of time, my lips became very rough, dry and scaly and burned. I think they are going to peel. I have not found them to be AT ALL well hydrated and any plumping that MAY have occurred was probably due to swelling from the extensive burning...

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

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  • 11 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Do not buy, do not waste your money!

    • Florida,
    • Oct 2, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was SO excited to try this product. I couldn't wait for it to arrive. It came today, and I ran to my bathroom, exfoliated, rinsed, dried, then applied, then waited...waited...waited...and 4 hours later, zero difference in lip appearance. Not only does the product feel like some cheap, sticky, thick, lip gloss from Wet N Wild; it does not moisturize nor condition nor plump. I could have gotten the same result by going to CVS and paying $1.25 for a tube of Wet N Wild and had the product immediately, but instead, I paid City Lips $35.00 for the product and waited 4 days for it to arrive and then was so, so, so very very very disappointed. I will be requesting a refund.

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

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  • 18 out 18 people found this review helpful

    No difference in appearance of lips

    • Georgia,
    • Sep 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    After using almost an entire tube of City Lips (which I purchased directly from their Facebook ad), I do not notice any significant change in the appearance of my lips or surrounding skin. The moisturizing properties are temporarily effective but no more than any other quality lip gloss. I applied several times daily and at night. Ultimately it did not meet my expectations.

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

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  • 20 out 21 people found this review helpful

    No

    • Louisville, KY,
    • Sep 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I wanted to love this, and I had really high hopes! It doesn't plump my lips...not even a little. After reading very mixed reviews, I ended up buying it because I have some lines around my mouth even though I do NOT smoke. I was hoping City Lips could help. It didn't help at all. It's a pretty lip gloss, but the shine is not worth the price tag.

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

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  • 17 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Does NOTHING for me

    • Massachusetts,
    • Sep 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This product is just really expensive lip gloss with a bit of a tingle. Does absolutely NOTHING to reduce the appearance of wrinkles above my lips. Just gives me shiny, greasy lips. Yuck. I should have known better and not wasted my money.

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

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  • 53 out 57 people found this review helpful

    Extra charges from City Beauty

    • Huntsville, AL,
    • Aug 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I placed an order, and the same day they charged an "international service" even though their website states they are in California. They won't reimburse me for the "international service." The bank can't do anything about it because it's associated with City Beauty. I would have to dispute the entire purchase. PayPal can't do anything about it. I won't order anything again, and I will make sure to tell everyone about City Beauty and their rip-off habits.

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

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  • 12 out 26 people found this review helpful

    Love it

    • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Aug 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It's amazing to find a beauty (anti-aging) product that does what it promises! I'm completely hooked on this product. My lips really, really are fuller now than before I started using the clear gloss. I noticed a difference within a week, I think. I'm on my third tube and will continue to always use this product. I'm so happy and impressed! I LOVE it.

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

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    Comments (2)
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    • Aug 17, 2018

      Monica B.

      If you're so "happy and impressed" with this product, why won't you recommend it to a friend?

    • Aug 31, 2018

      Janis L.

      I am also wondering why you would not recommend the product if you are so happy with it.

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  • 21 out 24 people found this review helpful

    Amazing results!

    I routinely buy products such as this and have never seen any results. But I don’t use it as a lip gloss. I use it on ALL the fine lines around my mouth, cheeks, chin, eyes, and brow. This makes me have a "gloss face," so obviously I use it as a night procedure along with Pond's Cold Cream. My son and my husband have each compliments me on looking younger after only two weeks of use. I’m sticking with this new regimen that I’ve created for myself. I’m 62, so don’t wait to be my age, get a start now! I wish I had!

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

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