Sponsored by Sephora

Here’s Proof That You Don’t Need To Be In A Traditional Relationship To Celebrate Valentine’s Day

By Erin Kelly

Valentine’s Day engenders a wide range of reactions from people. Some rejoice in the romance of the holiday, while others may feel anything from apathy to disillusionment. But it’s of course so much more than just candy hearts and romance. Relationships — and love — come in so many different forms, and every single one of them deserves to be celebrated.

February 14 is an opportunity to appreciate all the special someones in your life. That’s why we’ve partnered with Sephora to spotlight three pairs that prove you don’t need to be in a traditional relationship to enjoy Valentine’s Day. Read their stories below, how they plan to spend this month, and get inspired to toast the greatest loves in your life — from your BFF to your work wife.

BFFs: Derek & Liana

There’s nothing quite like having a person, your person, who you can be unapologetically yourself around. That’s why it’s so important for Liana to celebrate Valentine's Day with her BFF, Derek, this year.

After meeting at a bar in New York City's Lower East Side almost five years ago, the two bonded over their mutual love for laughing, exploring the city’s unique nightlife, and belting out their favorite lyrics during late-night karaoke.

Through plenty of ups, downs, and in-betweens, they’ve always been there to help each other out of a rut.

“Liana is the funniest person I know,” says Derek.

“She knows everything about me and has helped me through some pretty difficult times. She gives me the kind of support and friendship that always deserves celebration.”

This year, the BFFs plan to go bar hopping until they’re ready for karaoke. That's when they’ll rent a private room (meant to hold ten or more people) just for the two of them, so they can belt out their favorite hits...uninterrupted.

Liana firmly believes in using Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate friendship, as it can be tough day for those who aren’t in a romantic relationship.

For the BFF worth celebrating, consider gifting Sephora’s Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Intense fragrance. This modern, young, and vibrant scent is perfect for the friend who's always up for a fun time.

Work Wives: Irma & Lexi

We all have that one coworker who we talk to every single day and who makes our job more bearable — even on the most difficult, stressful days. For Irma and Lexi, they definitely find their work wife in each other.

Although Lexi is technically Irma’s boss, the pair have a long professional history together (they both began their careers at the same women’s magazine), and they collaborate on a daily basis. It’s no surprise that their close-knit relationship in the workplace transcends outside of the office and warrants celebration on special occasions like Valentine’s Day.

A signature “fun lunch” for the pair usually involves milking their lunch hour for all it’s worth — grabbing delicious food, maybe having a cocktail, and sharing plenty of conversation.

“Irma is the hardest worker I know, so it's important to me that she knows how much I love and appreciate her,” Lexi says.

“It's equally important to take a break once in a while, which is why a celebratory mid-day lunch is on the top of my list.”

To really make Valentine’s Day special, they’ll make a quick pit stop at Sephora, too. After all, it is on their way back to the office. And technically for beauty editors, it’s research. Irma and Lexi are proof that there can be way more to Valentine's Day than a prix-fixe dinner with an S.O. And there's more than one kind of relationship to celebrate.

If you've got a work wife with an inseparable bond, consider gifting them Sephora's Miu Miu Twist. Like any great dynamic duo, the fragrance is strong and sparkly — the ideal combination for a work lunch with a twist.

It’s All Relative: Audrey & Her Aunt, Una

For Audrey, Valentine’s Day is a special occasion to celebrate her relationship with her aunt, who also happens to be her closest relative (both emotionally and geographically).

Living close to each other gives the pair plenty of chances to reminisce about the days when Audrey was young enough to need a babysitter, and Una gladly filled the position. She brought Audrey paper dolls to play dress-up with, shared stories of her days of living in England, and taught Audrey how to make a proper cup of tea.

Having her aunt nearby reminds Audrey of home — a feeling she believes everyone should experience on Valentine’s Day. To her, celebrating a non-romantic love feels genuine and comes with less pressure than recognizing the day with a romantic partner.

“There's just no demand for all the bells and whistles,” says Audrey. “It's just about being around someone you really love, no matter what you do, even if it's just watching an old movie and getting takeout.”

Speaking of movies and takeout, that’s exactly how the duo plans to celebrate this year, along with flowers and something bubbly. Audrey encourages others to celebrate their family members on Valentine’s Day this year, too.

After all, she explains, “All types of love are important.”

Celebrate the heroine family member or mentor in your life with the gift of Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia. The feminine fragrance is reminiscent of classic female leads in your favorite black-and-white films.

This post is sponsored by Sephora.

Photography: Filippo Del Vita; Hair: Akihisa Yamaguchi; Makeup: Tiffany Leigh Patton; Wardrobe Styling: Annebet Duvall; Art Direction: Diana Weisman/BDG; Branded Beauty Leads: Lexi Novak & Irma Elezovic/BDG; Production: Kat Fry/BDG