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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  • Disappointed

    Overall Experience:

    I have been using it for about a week now, and I’m not impressed. So far, I cannot tell any difference.

    I haven’t given up as yet, and the verdict is still out, but I don’t think I will reorder.

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


  • City Lips, aka scams for "City Pockets"

    Overall Experience:

    Save your money on this one; it is just an overpriced menthol type lip gloss that gets a "rise" out of irritating the skin cells on your lips. You stop using, and it goes away, rather like purposely causing a mini-rash on your mouth, daily.

    Not much fun when you want to kiss your partner either.

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


  • Didn't work for me - no response to refund request

    Overall Experience:

    I eagerly purchased four tubes of City Lips as my lips were dry and lined. I used the product night and day for over 30 days as suggested by the manufacturer. Unfortunately the product did not work for me, and in fact, my lips became more dry, more lined, red and rather sore.

    Obviously, the product was not working as described, so I emailed the company requesting a refund under their 60-day return policy and explained why I was requesting the refund. I received no reply, so I emailed again a few days later with more detail included in the email. I still have not received a reply!

    I am not happy with the product or the service received at all! I would really appreciate it if I could receive an email detailing how and where to return the product for my refund as it is still within the 60-day money-back period!

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


  • False claims by City Lips!

    Overall Experience:

    This product did nothing that it claims to do! Did not plump or anything! I was expecting the results that the company claimed to happen with usage. It also tends to collect in between your lip corners. Don’t waste your money! Truly!

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


  • Don't buy from them. They are thieves. They triple your order and won't reply to your pleads to stop. Rogues!

    • By Rhia Rennert,
    • New South Wales, Australia,
    • Mar 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    DON'T BE CONNED! I purchased one product only to find they had upped it to six. When I tried to contact them six times, they never replied! Rogues.

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


  • City Lips non plumper

    • By Diana Towler,
    • Australia,
    • Mar 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I purchased City Lips Clear plumper. I am 64, and I had noticed that my lips were getting thinner and I wanted to try and change that. After reading the ads and reviews, I purchased this item, and what a waste of money! The product does absolutely nothing. It looks very pretty and shiny on the lips but that's all; there is no plumping, the ads are very misleading. Very disappointed, and won't recommend anyone to buy and certainly won't buy again.

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


  • Overcharged and under delivered - no response

    • By Dixie,
    • Orlando, FL,
    • Apr 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I placed a tripled order, which I received promptly, but three lipsticks were not in the order. Their support email is bogus. Overcharged $75, I had to contact my bank. Horrible service response (none). I would have kept the triple order had they shipped the entire order.

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


  • City Lips

    Overall Experience:

    I am very disappointed with this product. All it is, is glorified lip gloss. It does nothing that it claims. I have only had it for a week and it's almost gone! It does soften the lips but so does chapstick. Very disappointed and I would not recommend this product to anyone! And for $35.00 I could have bought an awesome lipstick that I would enjoy for longer than a week. Shame on this company!

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


  • Don’t use on permanent makeup!

    • By Robin Opp,
    • Bismarck, ND,
    • May 2, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I had a lip tattoo a year ago, and this made my bottom lip line a tattoo color. Not good! It’s going back but I'm not sure how to deal with this problem. I could understand if the tattoo were fresh, but it’s not. I’ve reached out to my makeup artist, but she may not know. I think this needs to be made public knowledge!

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


  • Bad customer service

    • By Linda M.,
    • Youngsville, LA,
    • Jun 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I placed an order on June 6th with my PayPal account. The money was taken out immediately from my account. It is now June 16th, and I still haven't received my product. I called and talked to customer service and was told that somehow the order had not been processed but would process it as soon as possible. Apology, apology, but no other solution but to mail it out via USPS, which with the holiday (Fathers Day), it might take anywhere from 3-7 business days. Even speaking to a supervisor, no other solution offered. Not satisfied at all.

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


  • Awful

    • By Sue B.,
    • United Kingdom,
    • Jun 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered this product for the first time only to discover you had to pay import postage of £14 to receive my order (I have not paid). I have contacted the company for a resolution. Appalling. I won't order anything again. I was definitely taken for a fool. Shame.

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


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