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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  • Extra charges from City Beauty

    • By Kimberly S.,
    • Huntsville, AL,
    • Aug 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I placed an order, and the same day they charged an "international service" even though their website states they are in California. They won't reimburse me for the "international service." The bank can't do anything about it because it's associated with City Beauty. I would have to dispute the entire purchase. PayPal can't do anything about it. I won't order anything again, and I will make sure to tell everyone about City Beauty and their rip-off habits.

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


  • Waste of a LOT of money

    • By Annemarie F.,
    • West Haven, CT,
    • Oct 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    This lip "plumper" doesn’t do anything. Marketing is heavy duty - and I am fairly certain that a good portion of the "excellent" shining, five-star reviews were submitted, written and/or posted by either the marketing department or some type of "bot". This item is a scam. Came up on Facebook. All kinds of laboratory and scientific claims and I was sold. Threw away hard-earned cash for a tube full of lies. Don’t buy it. I live on a limited income. Additionally, this review necessitating one hundred and eighty characters is ridiculous. I mean, really, how many words should it take to express your dissatisfaction with this product? Moreover, why would it be necessary for me to compose a one hundred and eighty-word dissertation?

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


  • Expensive lip moisturizer

    • By Alice T.,
    • Torrance, CA,
    • Jan 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I should have done my research before pulling the trigger. Lesson learned. I read another review here with the exact experience I had. Upon ordering two tubes, their platform opens another window to offer you three tubes for less. Bottom line, do the math, it ends up being $25 a tube with free shipping. A few days after I placed the order, I looked at my PayPal statement and there were two invoices by Scott Beauty. One invoice for the two tubes at $71.94, and another invoice for three more tubes at $81.75. This should be deemed ILLEGAL! They make it appear to the buyer that one is upgrading from two to three instead. Who in the name would pull the trigger in buying five freakin' tubes?! So, I called and the rep stated there was a disclaimer and wouldn’t extend any help. Next day I received the order, and I am no longer interested in their product due to the deception of their advertisement. I tried it on today, absolutely no plumping to my 52-year-old lips. BUYER BEWARE! I am going to call them and demand a full refund of all five tubes, including shipping, or else take it up with my local BBB.

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


  • City Lips

    • By Marie C.,
    • Melbourne, Australia,
    • Dec 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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


  • Will not work without injections!

    • By Cynthia H.,
    • Bullard, TX,
    • Dec 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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


  • Save your money

    • By Karen W.,
    • Missouri,
    • Jan 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    This product does not deliver what it promises. It is overpriced lip gloss. Period. Save your money. I took before and after pictures daily for several weeks. It does not work. There was never any change. No difference. It is a scam.

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


  • Nothing more than lip gloss!

    • By Donna S.,
    • Manitou Springs, CO,
    • Jan 23, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have been using City Lips for about five days now, morning and at night. Nothing different with my lips. I am 61, so the review about the comment reviews must be from younger girls because this lady is 62 and did notice a difference. It must be only in her head or she works for the company. I wish I had read the reviews first. This product is a scam and nothing more than an expensive, thick, lip gloss and a waste of money. I am not sending it back for a refund because I think this company is a scam and I do not want to be out the money and the lip gloss. Next time I will read the reviews first!

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


  • Misleading

    • By Caroline R.,
    • United Kingdom,
    • Jan 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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


  • Should you try it!

    • By Stephanie R.,
    • South Carolina,
    • Nov 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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


  • Company offers are a trick

    • By Nancy N.,
    • Coeur d'Alene, ID,
    • Jan 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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


  • Expensive lip gloss

    • By Cheryl L.,
    • North Carolina,
    • May 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I am surprised to read all of the 5-star reviews. I applied this 3-4 times a day, no lipstick, and other than shiny lips, got absolutely no appearance of fuller lips. It is really expensive lip gloss. The only good thing is that I didn't have difficulties returning it.

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


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