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City Lips

City Lips

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The City Lips plumping lip gloss by City Beauty promises to counter the signs of aging around your smile to give you a fuller pout. Customer reviews indicate this gloss is a success, but keep your expectations realistic for any plumping.


  • 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

City Lips Review: A Detailed Look

By Lydia Noyes

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.

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 support@citybeauty.com.

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

4.3 Stars out of 951 Reviews
5 Star:64% 4 Star:21% 3 Star:2% 2 Star:2% 1 Star:8%
86% Recommend This Company
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Posted on Sep 9, 2023

City Lips Clear

By Anita T., Heflin, Al, Verified Reviewer

I have recently received this order, and like some others used it at least 4 times per day. It does NOTHING the ad claims. Also, to the ones that said, do we think it will increase your lips, yes, “that is exactly what fuller lips means,” it’s sticky. I have some amazing tingling gloss with color from somewhere else that works!

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

They don’t communicate with one another, my 2nd was canceled, 15 emails later, I was refunded for something I didn’t order.

The site tries to make you order more crap, instead of just checking out.

The commercial is a lie.

Helpful Review? 2 People Have Voted

Posted on Jul 26, 2023


By Janis C., Canada, Verified Reviewer

This product does NOT get rid of ‘smokers lines’ or smooth out your lips. It’s a great lip gloss but other than that, it hasn’t done a thing for me.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Helpful Review? 3 People Have Voted

Posted on Jun 26, 2023

Waste of money

By Pamela C. , Chicago, IL

This product is no better than any less than $10.00 "plumper." It is thick and gloppy. My hair would continually get stuck in it. Plus, it does nothing. It does burn to perhaps give you the sensation that your lips are blowing up. Spend $12 on a lip gloss and deal with it.

When I called to speak with an agent, she was clueless. This was not for a refund. I had a question about another product advertised for smokers lines. The ad showed a model having black lines drawn on her upper lip lines. The rep had no clue what I was talking about. Suggested the product was out of stock or discontinued. I am watching it right now! Pathetic.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Helpful Review? 5 People Have Voted

Posted on Feb 18, 2023

Subtle difference

By Shannon G., Seattle, WA, Verified Reviewer

First, I have to say that City Lip's customer service is fantastic. I accidentally placed an extra order when I only wanted one tube, and they immediately canceled it and refunded my money, no questions asked.

As for the product, it only gives the appearance of smooth lines, hydrated lips, and plump lips when it is being worn. I have not found that it is improving the dryness, smoothness, or collagen production of my lips over time. It is also one of the stickiest glosses I have ever used. That, in and of itself, plus its lack of benefits, makes me not want to use it.

It is pretty when it’s on, but it’s not worth the price.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

Fantastic customer service

Gloss is pretty

60-day money-back guarantee

No noticeable smoothness, increase in collagen production, or hydration over time

Extremely sticky

Not worth the money, a cheaper sticky gloss will do the same

Helpful Review? 9 People Have Voted

Posted on Feb 17, 2023

What a scam!

By Jacquelyn H., Michigan, Verified Reviewer

The City Lips gloss does not work at all. I contacted the company for a refund and their 100% refund is not offered. They gave me $14.00 back out of the $35.00 I paid. They said if my product is lost in transit I will be out my money. Also, I have to pay the postage. What a joke.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

No transparency

Bad customer service

Product doesn’t work

Helpful Review? 10 People Have Voted

Posted on Jan 26, 2023

Gloss for the lips

By Laurence P., Quebec, Canada, Verified Reviewer

I am really sorry, but this product did not give me any effect. I have used it for almost 6 months now and NO difference.

I can say though, that it gives good hydration the first days and removes all dead or dry skin around the lips, but NOTHING MORE. Or maybe I already have perfect lips (at 70!?).

I am very disappointed with this product City Lips plumper, and all the marketing behind it.

I did not claim the refund, because to really try it, I exceeded the time required for this request. 30 days is not enough to observe a change, and this company knows it very well!

I have lost money and confidence, and I will not buy any product from this American company. For me, they sell dreams, and at a HIGH PRICE.

Length of Use: 6–12 months

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

Helpful Review? 11 People Have Voted

Posted on Sep 22, 2022

I would rate zero if I could

By Lynn F. , Illinois

I can't believe this gets any stars anywhere. It not only doesn't do what they claim. But, it does NOTHING, and it's sticky. Unbelievable.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

They lie

They must pay people to endorse this

Worthless product, they should pay me for ordering it

Helpful Review? 12 People Have Voted

Posted on Jun 27, 2022

Don't waste your money

By Geraldine M. , Glasgow, United Kingdom

Bought this after reading reviews but did not notice one bit of difference. Think their reviews are fakes. Don't waste your money.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

Product is rubbish

Reviews are fake

Rip off

Helpful Review? 12 People Have Voted

Posted on Jun 21, 2022

Not really satisfied

By Teri B., Helena, MT, Verified Reviewer

I saw pictures of someone having the lip line coated in some plumping cream and thought I was purchasing a product that goes around the lips at the lip line to get the “smoker's lines” plumped out. This was not the case. This was very misleading and I am disappointed and considering returning both tubes.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

I don’t believe advertising for this product was honest or accurate

Helpful Review? 19 People Have Voted

Posted on May 27, 2022

It burns! Awful stuff.

By Toni C., New Zealand, Verified Reviewer

This stuff is awful. It feels tacky and sticky and then it just burns, leaving the skin around the lips red. And no plumping, just red stinging lip rims! I have no idea how this stuff gets good reviews. It’s terrible! Waste of money.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Helpful Review? 15 People Have Voted

Posted on Aug 20, 2021

Don’t bother

By Lisa W., Ontario, Canada, Verified Reviewer

I had high hopes for this. I am disappointed. It does sting, but like they said that does go away after a few uses. The shine is amazing and it does plump...but it causes a very noticeable red line around the perimeter of your lips. And to say it doesn’t cause that stringy white gunk is a lie. Even with a small layer applied that stringy appearance is evident. And it makes your lips go white with thick gunk all over after being in for a few minutes. It’s so thick, which is nice, but the sticky, gooey appearance will make me think twice before I ever use it again. Very expensive lesson for me. Not worth it ladies!

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

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

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

Product let down

Delivery times


Helpful Review? 26 People Have Voted
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