About City Lips

By HighYa Research Team
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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Read 548 City Lips Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 4.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 340 4 star: 123 3 star: 20 2 star: 14 1 star:  51
Bottom Line: 85% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 548
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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
  • Clear plumping lipgloss

    • New Brunswick, Canada,
    • Jul 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received it yesterday and so far I'm enjoying the feel of it on and the texture of my lips even after it's gone. The tracking of my package was a bit iffy...couldn't locate where it was until it was at my door. Other than that, so far thumbs up!

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

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  • Great customer service

    • Central Coast, CA,
    • Jul 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company has amazing customer service. They truly want to make sure the customer is satisfied.

    City Lips feels great, but it's too early to tell if it is making a difference. It goes on well, tingles, and stays on for hours. I'm really hoping to see a difference!

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

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  • City Lips

    • Florida,
    • Jul 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've only been using this product for a week. I use it several times during the day and my lips feel very moist by the time I get up in the morning.

    I absolutely love it. I see a difference already.

    I would recommend this product to anyone. Even my daughter wants to try it.

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

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  • Product quality

    • Florida,
    • Jul 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought City Lips to try and see what they advertise is true, and it really is, love the product. I use it to plump my lips and it really does, it also makes lips soft. I will be buying other colors too.

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

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  • City Lips

    • Victory ,
    • Jul 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This product has given me confidence in my appearance, I love it. I used to get Botox, I can’t afford that anymore. This helps lips look fuller and eliminates line. The only downfall is the cost as I live in Australia and a disabled pensioner it cost too much for me, it’s over double the price that you advertise, but that’s not your fault, it’s just the way it is. I thank you once again for making me feel good.

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

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  • This product is great!

    • Texas,
    • Jul 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've always had dry lips. Not only does this product keep lips soft and moist, but plumps as well. I have the tubes at various locations around the house, as well in my purse as well. I love it!

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

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  • Ok

    • Lodi, CA,
    • Jul 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    As a lipgloss, it is long-lasting and looks great. Slight shimmer feels fancy. Not sure it is plumping. Reminds me of the L’Oreal lipgloss from the ’80s. But lasts longer and less sticky.

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

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  • Plumps without any sting!

    • Utah,
    • Jul 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've really enjoyed using City Lips lip plumper. I've definitely noticed a difference in the fullness of my lips and loved the color "tinsel town" that came as a free gift for buying 3 of the clear plumper. I would recommend this product to friends and family.

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

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  • Love City Lips

    • Tulsa, OK,
    • Jul 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Love the clear City Lips glass. I’ve had it a little over a week and I can see a small difference so far. I can’t wait to see how my lips are with continued use. I was pretty skeptical at first, but I am a believer for sure. I will more than likely branch out and buy some of the gloss in colors in the future.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Great lips

    • Petoskey, MI,
    • Jul 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    My lips were so dry, peeling and cracked all through our harsh, dry Michigan winter. I also am wearing Orthodontic appliances and it is difficult to keep your lips moisturized with the extra hardware on your teeth. I am also almost 60 years old. My lips look older when they are dry. They are also painful. I would really like the fine lines around my lips to be less noticeable.

    I have sold a high-end cosmetic line for over 30 years. I know about Alpha Hydroxy Acid and its amazing effects on facial skin. I have faithfully used this line and look much younger than I should! I often am told I look like I am in my mid-forties.

    After seeing a commercial about your product, I could not wait to try it. After one day my lips were moist! It lasts for hours and is easy to reapply. They healed and felt wonderful! Also, I applied City Lips gloss just outside my lip line the first night I slept with it on. The fine lines were much less noticable in the morning. I love this product! (I'm glad I took the special and bought three!). Thank you City Lips!

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

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  • Best product City Lips

    • Jul 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is one of the best products I have ever used. City Lips has helped me with my chapped lips and the wrinkles on them. I have been using this product only for 2 weeks and you can see the dramatic change. I do recommend this product because I can honestly say it works!

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

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Showing 1-11 of 548

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