We’ve Fallen in Love with the New Romance Palette from Karla Cosmetics

You’ve diligently done your seasonal wardrobe switch, waving your summer clothes off to storage until 2023, but has your make-up bag received a similar level of attention? As we transition into the colder months, summer’s make up staples – barely-there dewy tinted moisturisers and creamy, sheer formulations hit differently, which is why a seasonal make-up routine refresh is always a good idea. 

Enter Karla Cosmetics and their perfectly timed Romance eye palette launch, which captures all the drama and decadence I crave from my make-up in the darker months when the clocks go back. 

Founded by award-winning make-up artist Karla Powell, Karla Cosmetics is a UK indie beauty brand with a focus on eye palettes and unique formulations. A visit to karlastore.co.uk and the essence of Karla’s eponymous brand is obvious: an array of holographic glitters, multi-chrome shadows and iridescent pigments invite the customer to put the fun back into their make-up routine.  

The etymology of this beauty brand is charming; Karla cultivated a love of make-up in her formative years watching her dad run his face-painting and popcorn business at the weekend. The transformative power of cosmetics captured her young imagination, and a lifelong obsession began. 

The Romance palette is an act of love itself, having been three years in the making, beginning life in 2018, and arriving later than planned thanks to the pandemic. Karla’s vision was to create a versatile eye look that compliments all skin tones, but with the high-quality pigment and multi-chromes Karla Cosmetics has become synonymous with. 

Featuring two ultra-pigmented matte shades (Cherish and French Kiss) and two multidimensional pressed Opals (Romance and Pillow Fight), the palette is exquisitely packaged in a covetable case illustrated with romantic imagery including the Rialto Bridge in Venice, turtle doves, the Eiffel Tower, rose petals and Cupid himself. Depicting a story of romance, love, and expressions of the heart, this is the first collectable item in what will be a long line of collectable art on palettes to come. 

Whilst I’m no novice when it comes to eye shadow application (Lisa Eldridge’s YouTube tutorials taught me all that I know), I’m reluctant to stray from my signature shades of taupes and browns. Thankfully, the Romance palette arrived with a fool proof nine-step pictorial tutorial, which bolstered my confidence to try something new. 

The first step is to use the pinky-mauve matte Romance as a base, followed by the deep crimson French Kiss shade for definition. What struck me about the formulations of the matte shades is the beautiful velvety soft texture and incredible pigment payoff – a little of this product goes a long way. Karla tested hundreds of formulas before landing on the final iteration, and her hard work shows – these textures feel elevated and luxurious.

Once the mattes are applied and softly blended, it’s time for the fun part – applying the multidimensional shades called Opals. I find these are best patted on with a clean finger, to build up the pigment and chromatic shine. Cherish is my favourite shade – whilst it appears like a glittering mauve in the palette, upon the eye it has multidimensional colour, shifting from red to pink, turquoise and gold… magic! The final frosting comes in the form of Pillow Fight, a white shimmer that has highlights of gold, yellow and neon orange. 

Will I be using the Romance palette again? Absolutely – on the day I tested the palette I was heading out in the daytime, so I kept the look subtle. But next time I have a party, I’ll be layering on more of the Opals for a dramatic eye. One swipe of these beautiful formulations, and it’s easy to fall head of heels in love with Karla Cosmetics. 

Sophie Green

Sophie Green is PR Manager for a designer flash sale website and part-time fashion blogger, having founded her fashion and shopping blog Lafashionfolie.com in 2012. Finding a passion for the industry at a young age, Sophie studied Fashion Communications at university and has worked in the industry for over a decade, heading up the PR departments of several fashion and fine jewellery brands. Through her fashion blog she has worked on campaigns with brands including UGG Australia, La Redoute and Headmasters and counts sitting opposite Anna Wintour at the Topshop Unique LFW show as a career highlight! Outside of work Sophie likes to unwind by hitting the gym for a boxing class or ‘researching’ the best G&T’s the capital has to offer. Her fashion obsession is sequins, with an entire section of her wardrobe dedicated to all things-sparkly!