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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181 Consumer Reviews for City Lips

Average Consumer Rating: 4.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 105 4 star: 30 3 star: 6 2 star: 12 1 star:  28
Bottom Line: 73% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 181
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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

    Misleading

    • United Kingdom,
    • Jan 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    After deciding to purchase a clear lip gloss and having placed all my payment details in, I was asked if I would like to add extra items. There were three different lip gloss colors to choose from, showing individual prices of $29 each. I thought it would be nice, I clicked on the one that I wanted and then suddenly the whole page disappears. The next thing I know I have purchased all three colors and my card had been charged $87 without me having to put in my card details again, and without any order review, etc.

    Although I emailed them as soon as I got an email from them confirming the order, which I didn't know had actually gone as the page had just disappeared, they did not acknowledge my emails. I finally had to ring them in the US and the customer service person said they could not cancel the order.

    Be warned purchasing from this site.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    City Lips is totally bogus

    • Macedonia, OH,
    • Jan 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I paid $35.00 in December 2018 for one tube of City Lips. The tube arrived fairly quickly, within 7-10 days. On the first application, I did feel a slight tingling of my lips. But that was the only time. This concoction is nothing more than coconut oil (you can smell it) and perhaps some tiny amount of something causing a slight tingling sensation. My lips HAVE NOT become plumper in any way, visually or imagined. This is an expensive loss and a lesson learned. If you want plump lips, go get JUVEDERM injected in them.

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Waste of money!

    • Arlington, TX,
    • Jan 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Did not see any improvement at all. Where I bought it, all they had was colored. Kinda sticky. I have heard clear is not as sticky. Save your money. Nothing more than a lip gloss! No plumping or helping fine lines. I have used it for months, just for gloss. I sure hoped it would work! Definitely would not recommend!

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

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Company offers are a trick

    • Coeur d'Alene, ID,
    • Jan 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company is NOT to be trusted-Ever!

    I was duped into two orders when I believed I was placing on (oh, you just placed an order for one tube at $35 + tax, well, you can have two for $50, now instead). I called customer service immediately when I received two order conversations. One for $39.85 and the other for $25.00, but she said there was nothing that could be done! Really? Minutes after? Now I have to wait until I receive them and pay shipping both ways to return! This should be illegal!

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

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Just average

    • Monroe, MI,
    • Jan 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am of almost 50 years old and watching my lips shrink and my lip lines increase. I purchased two City Lips lip gloss. The clear and Tinsel Town. When I first applied City Lips, I was quite excited when my lips were plump and fuller within two minutes following the application. I was so excited to use it twice a day and see the full results but was disappointed when it did nothing to my lip lines as shown on their website in pictures and other reviews for women my age. It’s very sticky when applied, which eventually absorbs into your lips. It does not sting like other lip plumpers that I’ve used in the past. So now I just use my city lips to moisturize my lips. Everyone has different lip concerns and reactions to products, so I think it’s worth a try if you are looking for a lip plumper that does not sting and will moisturize your lips, but don’t count on it doing anything to your lip lines.

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

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  • 23 out 23 people found this review helpful

    Will not work without injections!

    • Bullard, TX,
    • Dec 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This gloss is beautiful and doesn’t last long. I bought three tubes a month ago and they, used as recommended, are all almost empty!

    This works fabulous, IF you had ALREADY lip injections! If not, like me, I am getting a very expensive and short-lived shine.

    The only people I know this to work on are my friends that have had multiple lip injections, but without the expensive lip injections, this is a waste of money. Sadly. Three tubes later and I see NO DIFFERENCE ON ME. I obviously have not had lip injections. But even if I had, this stuff disappeared RAPIDLY! I’ve never had a lip gloss tube go empty so quickly in three decades!

    It was worth a try but a complete waste of money. UNLESS. You use in conjunction with lip injections!

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

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  • 22 out 22 people found this review helpful

    City Lips

    • Melbourne, Australia,
    • Dec 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Hello, I purchased City Lips lip plumper, with great expectations. I couldn't wait to try it. Unfortunately, it did absolutely NOTHING!

    I used it the next day and the day after, but nothing happened. No tingling like the advert said. So I think it is a scam and I need a refund.

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

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  • 22 out 23 people found this review helpful

    So far so good

    • Freeport, IL,
    • Dec 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I only started using City Lips a few days ago, but I can see a difference already. I have read the numerous reviews saying it does not work and am wondering if they were from younger women whose lips had not aged and thinned yet. I am 62 and my lip volume has shrunk considerably, something I didn’t realize happened as you aged (along with eyelash thinning, unfortunately). My upper lip was thin, my lips so dry and lined.

    I can still see some lines after a week, but they are no longer dry and they are most definitely plumped. I will continue to use and enjoy the benefits.

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

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  • 25 out 26 people found this review helpful

    Does not plump lips!

    • McKinney, TX,
    • Nov 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Ladies, please save your money. This product does absolutely nothing as advertised! After using 3 vials per the directions, no results whatsoever. Huge disappointment! No more effective than applying lip gloss, chapstick, or Vaseline to the lips. A true waste of money!

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

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  • 19 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Just fancy gloss

    • California,
    • Nov 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I put it on morning and night. My lips aren't plumper. My lines are still there. However, my chapped lips feel better. I would recommend Baby Lips; cheaper and does the same thing. In fact, Vaseline would be better. It's also pretty greasy.

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

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  • 29 out 29 people found this review helpful

    Should you try it!

    • South Carolina,
    • Nov 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I usually do not fall for products like these. However, this one was convincing and the older I get, the more my lips are withering away. I thought I would give it a try. For me, this is basically a $39.95 (with shipping) lip gloss that stings. I have seen no difference. I continue to use it because of the expense and refuse to throw it out. My opinion...SAVE YOUR MONEY.

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

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