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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196 Consumer Reviews for City Lips

Average Consumer Rating: 3.7
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 105 4 star: 31 3 star: 6 2 star: 13 1 star:  41
Bottom Line: 68% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 196
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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
  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Nice lip gloss but doesn't work

    • Auckland, New Zealand,
    • Mar 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    As far as lip glosses go, it's actually very nice. It's thick without being sticky and it's long lasting, unfortunately, though it just doesn't work!

    I ordered two tubes and have been using three to four times per day and have seen absolutely no difference in the plumpness or the hydration. I even took close up before and after photos and 100% nothing had changed.

    A nice lip gloss if you've got excessive amounts of money, but for an average working class person I think I'll just stick to my Natio balm!

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Doesn’t work

    • Mulkeytown, IL,
    • Mar 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered two tubes and the only result I got was the same a lip gloss does for a lot cheaper! It DOES NOT plump your lips, unless mine was a bad batch. Save your money! It is a decent lip gloss but NO plumping of lips.

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

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  • 15 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Behaving like a common scammer

    • Australia,
    • Feb 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I originally wanted to try one of their plumping lip glosses, mainly to hide fine lines around lips, as they promise to achieve using this product. Instead, I ended up with five of them, against my express order, and having my account accessed without my consent for all five of them! When I complained, they used the lame excuse that it had already been shipped and could not be canceled (after one day!). I can now contact them on their American phone number (I am in Australia) to request a return. I dread the next lot of weak excuses and seeing my entitled refund eroded.

    Apart from that, I ended up with red, irritated and swollen skin where I used their product! Charming experience!

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

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  • 18 out 18 people found this review helpful

    Overpriced lip gloss!

    • Washington,
    • Feb 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Same as all the other reviews...DOES NOT WORK!

    An expensive, shiny, lip gloss that DOES NOT WORK!

    Ladies, do not buy. What a rip off. I still have to contact them for a refund. Let's see how that goes.

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

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  • 17 out 17 people found this review helpful

    DO NOT order from this company!

    • California,
    • Feb 20, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company took my order three times and my payment, two of my orders got returned to sender because they left off one letter in my address. I've called numerous times asking them to correct this and they promise to take care of it. Also, no one ever answers my emails. So far, they have not delivered the third order, which they have promised! VERY disappointed with this sketchy company!

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

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  • 20 out 20 people found this review helpful

    Doesn't work

    • California,
    • Feb 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased the 3 City Lips lip plumper special. They said it would help with lip wrinkles and that you won't need any more painful injections after using City Lips. I used it for 60 days like they suggested. The plumper only made my lip lines more pronounced, and the product did not last. I kept applying it all day long.

    I ended up getting lip injections anyway, and I'm happy with my beautiful lips.

    I contacted the company and told them my complaint and they told me I could not return it. I think this product is a SCAM.

    I do not suggest wasting your money on City Lips lip plumper.

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

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  • 15 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Scam

    • New York,
    • Feb 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Don’t fall for the extra order. I wanted one tube to try it. At checkout it said would you like to have 2 for $50...didn’t realize it meant plus the original one, so I have now spent $85 on 3 tubes of a product that probably stinks. Beware.

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

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Give it a try, my lips feel and look great!

    • Miami, FL,
    • Feb 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was tired of cracking lips and lipstick that runs into the fine lines! I'm in my mid 50's, and this has been a great addition to my simple beauty routine!

    My lips used to always crack and peel, even using expensive lipstick, they are not only plumper but certainly more moisturized and it does not run, stays on until I take it off!.

    Only thing I do not like is that it is a bit too sticky and if walking in the wind, my hair does get stuck.

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

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  • 15 out 16 people found this review helpful

    So far, an expensive gloss

    • Virginia,
    • Feb 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I wish I had read the reviews. I also got conned into purchasing three tubes due to the wording. It is very misleading. I'm sending the other two back and will hopefully receive a refund. I have been using it for seven days, three times per day. I am 44 and have always had thin lips, even as a child. So far, no plumping, gloss lasts about 20 minutes (if I'm lucky), and no improvement in hydration. I don't have lines thankfully. I might send this tube back also. I'll stay with Lip Sense. Great, long-lasting gloss, and budget for injections.

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

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  • 19 out 21 people found this review helpful

    Save your money

    • Pennsylvania,
    • Feb 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was wondering how long it'll take to see results! Then realized it doesn't work, DOES NOT WORK, it's tacky! I had it for a week now, reapply it often, day and night, and nothing. Sure doesn't deliver any results.

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

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  • 21 out 22 people found this review helpful

    Not worth the money

    • London, England,
    • Jan 30, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I waited weeks for my order to arrive and I was so disappointed. It is just very thick, very sticky, clear lip gloss. It took hours to sink into my lips and didn't plump at all. A previous reviewer said her friends with lip fillers had results, I have lip fillers, but I found the high gloss simply drew attention to your lips. They aren't actually any different, the gloss leeches over the lip edge giving the impression of fullness. DO NOT waste your money! To add insult to injury, after a paying far too much for this, I was also charged a £13.85 import duty as I live in the UK. AVOID AT ALL COSTS. I shall continue with lip fillers. At least they work.

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

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