City Lips Review: Lip Magic or Overpriced?

City Lips Review: Lip Magic or Overpriced?

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City Lips is a popular lip gloss sold by the brand City Beauty. The brand claims that this product can deliver “deep hydration for instant plumping” and “[smooth] out the appearance of lip lines and wrinkles.” 

But does City Lips actually contain ingredients shown to have these effects in clinical studies, or are these just marketing claims? Does the product contain any questionable additive ingredients? How do real users rate and describe the effects of City Lips? And which retailer sells this brand for the best price?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in City Lips based on clinical studies to give our take on whether or not the product is likely to improve lip health and apperance.

We'll feature unsponsored customer reviews, and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells City Lips for the best price.

Ingredient Analysis 

City Lips ingredients

City Lips contains up to 67 ingredients depending on the color.

Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, which was shown in a 2018 medical review to significantly reduce wrinkles and increase skin hydration.

Sodium hyaluronate has a lower molecular weight than hyaluronic acid, meaning it can penetrate deeper into skin and may be more effective.

Jojoba seed oil is an anti-inflammatory and skin hydrating ingredient.

Unfortunately, while there are some research-backed active ingredients in City Lips, this product also contains a number of inactive ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective.

Carmine is a dye that was found in a medical review published in the Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety journal to be “considered toxic for rats, pigs and humans.”

Benzoic acid is a preservative, and while preservatives are necessary in some formulations, we recommend using preservative-free skincare whenever possible. This ingredient may be irritating to skin.

Blue 1 Lake and Yellow 5 Lake are artificial dyes. 

As we documented in our Tula skincare reviews article, some artificial dyes are clinically shown to cause skin irritation and negative health effects.

Overall, we do believe that City Lips is likely to improve skin quality and reduce wrinkles, due to the inclusion of sodium hyaluronate, however we don’t currently recommend the product because of the inactive ingredients highlighted above.

Real People Try City Lips

A YouTube creator named "Hannah’s Southern Creations" has a City Lips review video with a live product demonstration, and the video includes before-and-after images:

A YouTube creator named "Staci Lea Beauty" who has a channel focused on cosmetics in people over 40 reviewed City Lips:

Where to Get the Best Price

City Lips is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown for a one-time purchase at the time of updating this article:

Walmart: $63 (third-party seller, link)

Brand website: $35 (plus $6.95 shipping, link)

Amazon: $35 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

City Lips is currently 17% cheaper at Amazon than on the brand's official website when factoring in shipping fees.

What's the Best Dupe?

A YouTube creator named "Graceful Beauty" has a video on the best dupes for popular cosmetics that includes City Lips.

A dupe is a cheaper alternative to a popular product that's thought to have similar effects. We've timestamped the below video to start at the point where she discusses the City Lips dupe:

Our Clean Lip Balm Pick

Dr. Bronner's Organic Lip Balm is our top healthy lip balm pick.

This product has the healthiest formulation of any lip gloss we’ve reviewed. Like Laneige, it contains hydrating natural ingredients like organic avocado oil and organic jojoba seed oil. 

However it's fragrance-free and contains no additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy.

Real Customers Review City Lips

Amazon is a better resource for unbiased customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

City Lips Clear is the brand's most reviewed lip gloss on Amazon at the time of updating this article, with over 7,000 total reviews and an average review rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “Christine J” who gives the product a 5/5 star rating, and claims it has a similar effect to lip injections:

"My DAD asked if I had lip injections last Xmas bc he noticed. I use it morning and night and maybe 1-2x during the day. I have one on my desk, nightstand, car, and purse! I'm going to quote influencers and I hate myself for it, but 'I am obsessed!!'"

The top negative review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Hedera” who gives the product a 1/5 star rating, and claims it has a drying effect on skin:

"I drink a lot of water each day, which helps keeps my lips plump and full but i honestly felt like City Lips sucked the moisture right out of them. I stuck with putting it on in the morning and at night for two weeks to see if there was a change or if it got better... nope!"

City Beauty currently has an average review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Facebook.

City Lips currently has an average review rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars on Google.

City Beauty currently has an average review rating of 4.75 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, and the brand seems to respond to every single customer complaint, which is a sign of a high-quality brand.

Pros and Cons of City Lips

Here are the pros and cons of City Lips in our opinion:


  • Likely to reduce wrinkles
  • Contains hydrating ingredients
  • Great product design
  • Highly favorable online customer reviews


  • Contains artificial dye
  • Contains a preservative
  • Expensive
  • Brand website charges for shipping
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


City Lips contains ingredients that are clinically shown to reduce wrinkles and to moisturize the skin, so from an effectiveness perspective, this lip gloss is worth the money.

From a health and environmental perspective, we don't currently recommend this product because it contains several different synthetic preservatives, and also may contain artificial dye depending on the color chosen.

In this article we featured a video sharing a City Lips dupe, along with unsponsored customer reviews of this product.

City Lips has very favorable online customer reviews, and the brand's average review rating on the BBB site is one of the highest we've ever noted in an Illuminate Health review.

At the time of updating this article, Amazon has a better price on City Lips than the City Beauty website when factoring in shipping fees.