City Lips Review: A Detailed Look

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: May 20, 2020

City Lips is a plumping lip gloss from City Beauty that claims to add some life to your dry, thinning lips—no painful injections required. The company claims to use a blend of innovative ingredients to deliver deep hydration for an instant plumping effect that smooths out lip lines and wrinkles that tend to show up as we age.

City Beauty is an LA-based luxury beauty brand with a range of cosmetic products (including a Multi-Action Sculpting Cream) that are designed to counter the effects of aging with “functional beauty products.” It’s their goal to offer more than surface-level skincare benefits so that you can maintain your results for the long term.

Do these products deliver, or is City Lips just another disappointing lip gloss? HighYa’s analysis should help you decide.

  • Ingredients should work to improve lip health and hydration
  • Generous return policy
  • Minimal risk of adverse side effects
  • Largely positive customer reviews
  • Any lip plumping effect is likely to be subtle
  • No clinical evidence to support plumping benefits
  • Results (if any) will be temporary unless you reapply repeatedly

How Does City Lips Work?

City Lips is a lip gloss that will purportedly provide both immediate and long-term plumping effects. The company claims it contains the necessary ingredients for deep hydration that gives you a fuller pout.

Though anyone can use City Lips, this product is primarily marketed towards people with dry, thinning lips or who are starting to show evidence of aging.

It’s considered suitable for all skin types and is free of potentially harmful ingredients like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, and common allergens like gluten and nuts.

Aging skin gets dry and wrinkled over time, and your lips are no exception. This is primarily due to decreasing collagen levels. This natural compound breaks down over time due to many factors, including sun and pollution exposure.

Unlike traditional lipgloss, which will only produce a temporary illusion of bigger lips, City Lips uses nourishing ingredients that improve how your lips look in the moment while supporting your body’s natural collagen production, so they improve over time.

The company claims this leads to results similar to lip injections but without the cost or potential side effects.

To use, apply a generous amount of your preferred shade to your lips. If you plan to apply another lip product overtop, make sure you wait at least 2-3 minutes before doing so that it can set. Though the gloss should deliver results within ten minutes, you can expect the effect to increase over time if you use it regularly.

Analysis of Ingredients

City Lips’ full ingredients list can be found on the company website. The majority of ingredients act as emollients, moisturizers, skin conditioning, and thickening agents, preservatives, penetration enhancers, dispersing agents, solvents, and fragrances.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the active ingredients.

Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline: Commonly used as an anti-aging ingredient, dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline is a plant-based component of collagen that works to improve its stability. When used in cosmetic products, it can enhance your body’s ability to synthesize collagen, which consequently results in a firmer, plumper appearance.

Sodium Hyaluronate: Also known as hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate is a common ingredient in lip fillers because it smooths out the skin on contact and creates plumper, firmer appearance. However, there’s less evidence that this compound creates any lasting improvements when used topically besides adding some moisture to your skin.

Though City Beauty claims its hyaluronic acid is “precision-engineered to be absorbed through the skin,” the company doesn’t go into detail about what this means.

Oligopeptides: As a broad range of natural amino acids, oligopeptides support your body’s collagen production. City Beauty cites a study on oligopeptides that found that the compound decreased lip wrinkles by 29% and increased lip volume by 40% after four weeks of treatment. Again, we weren’t able to track down this specific study.

Overall, most City Lips ingredients are commonly used to plump up the skin, boost your natural collagen production, and ensure everything stays hydrated. Our biggest concern is that most of their purported benefits are related to their use in injections.

When applied topically through a lip gloss, these ingredients might provide some moisturizing benefits, but these will likely be temporary. There’s little chance that a product like this will have much, if any, impact on your collagen levels.


City Beauty claims that City Lips is safe for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin. Our research into its ingredients and customer reviews didn’t indicate any reason for concern, as we couldn’t find any examples of users who reacted badly to the gloss.

Even so, it’s a good idea to apply a small amount on your skin the first time you use it to test for a reaction- especially if you tend to have sensitive skin.

Pricing and Fine Print

At present, each 0.16-oz tube of City Lips costs $35, plus $4.95 for shipping. You can save at least 11% per order and qualify for free shipping if you sign up for the monthly auto-ship program and agree to receive a new delivery every 30 days.

The auto-ship price will go down the more you purchase at once:

  • One: $31 each
  • Two: $29.50 each ($59 total)
  • Three: $26 each ($78 total)

You can choose to stop future shipments at any point by contacting customer service at (800) 347-1558 or at

Regardless of the way you purchase, all City Beauty products bought from the official website qualify for a 60-day money-back guarantee. This means that you can experiment with your purchase within that timeframe and return it for any reason to receive a full refund, minus any shipping expenses.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

We have more than 700 customers reviews of City Lips on our website, and they average 4.3 stars together. 86% of users say they would recommend the product to their friends; should you take this recommendation seriously? Here’s a summary of their comments.

Common Compliments:

  • Leaves lips fuller, better hydrated
  • Succeeds in producing a temporary plumping effect
  • Positive customer service experiences

Common Complaints:

  • Didn’t do anything for many users
  • Too expensive for its subtle benefits
  • Difficult to remove the color from lips
  • Many purchases were more expensive than users expected
  • No better than regular lip glosses

Popular Alternatives to City Lips

There is no shortage of products available that promise to expand your pout. Here are two popular alternatives to City Lips:

City Lips Dior Addict Lip Maximizer Buxom Full-On Plumping Lip Polish
Price $35 (0.16oz) $39 (0.2oz) $21 (0.15oz)
Color Range 16 7 100+
Key Ingredients Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyls, Oligopeptides Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Sodium Hyaluronate, Atelocollagen Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Menthone Glycerin Acetal
Average Reviews (Amazon) N/A (4.3 stars on HighYa) 4.3 4.6

To start, City Lips and the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer contain near-identical active ingredients. Both products promise to plump up your lips permanently using a similar formula to injections, and they claim to work better the longer you use the gloss.

Both of these brands cost approximately the same per tube, though you’ll save money with City Lips by purchasing more at once or signing up for the auto-ship program. Likewise, City Beauty seems to offer more color options.

One thing that makes the Buxom polish stand out is that it claims to create a tingling sensation that purportedly lets you know it’s working. However, this brand doesn’t contain the plumping agents in the other two, including collagen or sodium hyaluronate.

Even so, this brand has the most extensive range of color options, costs the least per tube, and also earns the highest reviews of the three. You might find you like how your lips look best with Buxom Full-On Lip Plumping Polish, even if the product offers less plumping benefits.

The Bottom Line: Should You Try City Lips?

City Beauty’s lip plumping product earns rave reviews that seem well deserved. This gloss contains a good selection of nourishing ingredients that also show some promise from an anti-aging perspective. Though you’re likely to get far better results from committing to lip injections, City Lips promises a more cost-effective (though temporary) alternative.

There’s nothing in the City Lips formula that makes us hesitate to recommend it. You’re unlikely to experience any adverse side effects, and if you do, there’s a good chance that most brands of lip gloss would do the same.

So long as you keep your expectations realistic about the plumping benefits it can actually provide, City Lips seems like a quality lip gloss to add to your routine.

Just remember that the best way to counter the effects of aging is to prevent them in the first place. Stay out of the sun, wear sunscreen when you don’t, and keep your face properly hydrated.

Customer Reviews

Start your review of City Lips:
  • 733 Customer Reviews
  • 85% Recommend This Company
4.3 out of 5
5 star: 62% 4 star: 22% 3 star: 3% 2 star: 2% 1 star: 9%

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To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

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  • This company is actively collecting reviews from its customers. All reviews submitted are subject to moderation and approval to ensure they meet our Review Guidelines.
  • Fabulous lip plumper

    • By Malgorzata B.,
    • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Jul 26, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    I was skeptical at first, got it, and the results are incredible. I used to do lip fillers, this is better, no pain, no bruises. Thank you for this wonderful product. Could it be cheaper, just saying?

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • Long delivery

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

  • City Lips is so toxic

    • By Bobby C.,
    • Arizona,
    • Jul 16, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    My mouth, lips, and throat are so very red and I can barely swallow. My throat is so very sore and my lips are peeling and sore. This is a very terrible product. They do not list all of the ingredients, when I received the product the list of ingredients is overwhelming. It does not say where it is made.

    Pros and Cons:

    • They gave me credit immediately
    • They do not list all the ingredients when you look them up online

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

  • Didn’t work for me

    • By Shannon S.,
    • Clinton, IA,
    • Jul 1, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    So I’ve used this product for 2 months now. Going on it feels sticky, I personally felt a stinging sensation and I saw no difference in my lips other than they turned red around the outside of my lips.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Reputation
    • This product did nothing for me

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

  • Highly irritating product

    • By Ellie V.,
    • Sacramento, CA,
    • Jun 5, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: Less than 3 months
    Overall Experience:

    This product made my lips extremely irritated. It burns really badly. I tried to call their phone number to proceed with a return, but no one answers it.

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

  • Day 4

    • By Sheila M.,
    • Henrietta, TX,
    • May 7, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    After looking at the before and after pictures and videos of women with slight wrinkles around their mouths using City Lips, I thought wow! So for over a year now I had contemplated ordering me some, I was so excited, I decided to use my hard-earned money on this product. All I can see is that it makes your lips shiny. Sadly very disappointed! I'm still going to try it for a few more days, BUT states "works in 10 minutes" and "for long-lasting results..."

    But to say it again, I'm very disappointed. I shall return soon. Says 60-day return guarantee if not happy...

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

  • Disappointed

    • By Mary M.,
    • New York,
    • May 7, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Was very excited to try this product in hopes of it doing what it says it does, unfortunately, it did not, and it also bleeds.

    I did not see any difference in my lips or feel any tingling sensation. I also found it to be very sticky and uncomfortable feeling.

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

  • Does not work

    • By Jan F.,
    • Arizona,
    • Apr 1, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    It does nothing, nothing at all. Ordered this thinking it would be good. When I put it on it did nothing for my lips. There was no tingling, nothing except a feel of a lot of goop on your lips. Do not order this product, it is so wrong. Trust me, I have ordered many things and this is terrible. Anyone that says this works must be lying. This is the only product that I would return but can't be bothered. Don't let them suck you in.

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

  • When you think it's too good to be true; IT IS.

    • By Maria S.,
    • Pittsford, NY,
    • Mar 23, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    This product was a waste of money and I can't believe I actually thought it would work. It doesn't. My lips don't look any different than they did prior to using this product.

    My advice would be - don't waste your money.

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

  • City Lips

    Overall Experience:

    This is the most expensive lip gloss I have ever purchased. I've used it for about five days and there is absolutely no difference. I think I could probably apply some hot pepper juice to my lips and get a better result.

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

  • Need to return

    • By Roxanne S.,
    • Arizona,
    • Mar 19, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Just received the lipstick in the mail. When I first tried it, I loved the color, but my lips started listing immediately. After a while, it just got worse so I needed to remove it. I tried petroleum jelly, ha ha, but oil and even soap. It’s still stinging and I have blisters forming on my lips!

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

  • Love it!

    • By Teresa W.,
    • Princeton, TX,
    • Mar 14, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    This product works well. I am very picky about my skincare. If I purchase a product more than once, it is because it is really good, not just okay. I have been using City Lips for over a year, 1-3 times daily, and am very pleased with my lips. I am 58 years old, and it has become a staple for me. Very few products make it to that status with me.

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

Showing 1-11 of 733

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