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.

Pros
  • Ingredients should work to improve lip health and hydration
  • Generous return policy
  • Minimal risk of adverse side effects
  • Largely positive customer reviews
Cons
  • 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.

Safety

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

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

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  • City Lips

    • By Terri,
    • Lewisville, TX,
    • Feb 12, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I purchased the City Lips Advanced Formula, and I really love it! I can tell a difference and will continue to use the product.

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


  • City Lips

    Overall Experience:

    Great product! I started using it ten days ago and have already noticed plumper, fuller lips and diminished lip lines. The formula feels good and provides a beautiful shine worn by itself or with lip color.

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


  • Awesome product!

    Overall Experience:

    I have tried other lip plumpers, and I have never found one that works. I have been using City Lips for a little over a week and not only have I noticed a difference, but I have received many compliments. This is my most favorite cosmetic product ever!

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


  • Love City Lips!

    • By Karolina,
    • Ireland,
    • Feb 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I've been using City Lips glosses for years and I love them! Nothing comes even close. I just wish they were still shipping to Ireland.

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


  • City Lips

    • By Connie Monroe,
    • Bonney Lake, WA,
    • Feb 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I wanted a topical lip plumping product that actually works and provides lasting results. City Lips has helped me to greatly reduce the appearance of age-related lip lines and restored volume to my lips.

    I apply City Lips before going to bed, and I have noticed that my lips maintain a fuller appearance throughout the day. City Lips doesn't have any burning or irritation that I have experienced in other products.

    I am very pleased with this product and have been using it for years.

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


  • Lips

    • By Monique Rubio,
    • San Jacinto, CA,
    • Feb 15, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    The clear lip gloss is a must. I bought one for my mom and myself, and it's not only a great natural lip plumper, but it also hydrates our lips. I highly recommend this product to anyone who is trying to get full-lushed lips.

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


  • Love this product!

    • By Patty Jones,
    • Loveland, OH,
    • Dec 19, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I work part-time in a tanning salon and a customer came in and noticed we carried City Lips. Her doctor had prescribed it for her and she was curious if there was a price difference. She claimed she loved the product and would be back when she ran low to buy from us. She did state she only uses the clear. Once in the morning and before she goes to bed.

    I am 51 and well, I have old lips, let's be honest. I started using this product 2 weeks ago and my lips look younger, smoother and I have had compliments about my lipstick. The same brand lipstick I have been wearing for YEARS! It is a subtle change, so if you are looking for a Botox look, you are not being realistic. For us older females who still want to look good, this product rocks! No side effects for me either!

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


  • City Lips works

    • By Debbie Keen,
    • Raymond, MS,
    • Feb 1, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I am 63 and have always had issues with chapped, peeling lips until about a month ago when I began using advanced formula City Lips. I use it three times a day; morning, after lunch, and before bedtime. The very first application was enough for me to realize it was a better consistency than any of the numerous products I had used over a lifetime.

    I can honestly report that I have not had one instance of chapped lips since I started using the product, and I highly recommend City Lips for anyone who would like younger-looking, slightly plumper, smooth lips. It is the best product to totally heal chronic chapped lips I have ever used! You can get a better price per tube the more you buy at one time, and the company also sends occasional offers by email for better deals than the $35 per tube normal price.

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


  • City Lips is just what I need to keep my lips moist and not so shriveled up!

    Overall Experience:

    City Lips is just what the doctor ordered. I have a disease called Sjogren's syndrome. I have dry mouth, lips, nose, and eyes. It is very uncomfortable. Many time my lips become sore and slip open. City Lips doesn't allow that to happen. The amount of lip gloss the City Lips add to my lips is noticeable, and living in Michigan, the winter is the worse on my lips. Thank you for this lip product. I love it!

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


  • Clear City Lips

    Overall Experience:

    I found the product to be just what was promised. It takes a few moments, but you can feel the swell, as well as see it within two minutes. This is a perfect conditioner to put on your lips before bed, especially during the winter. The customer service team is simply outstanding.

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


  • Moisture

    Overall Experience:

    I ordered City Lips and really enjoy wearing it! I put it on before going to sleep at night and before leaving for work. No more chapped lips! Very moisturizing and I find I'm not grabbing for lip balm every 30 minutes. I really enjoy this product!

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


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