12 Easy Birthday Gift Ideas

With my birthday coming up, I've had the topic of birthday gifts on the mind. Sometimes, occasions come up where you want or need to buy a birthday gift for someone who isn't necessarily your best, best friend and it can be hard to figure out what to buy without blatantly asking for their list. Since that's no fun (and can feel awkward or impersonal), I've put together a list of twelve easy birthday gift ideas. These gifts work for just about any girl and don't require a huge amount of knowledge about their personal tastes to be a success.

Fancy Candle
This is the perfect gift, in my opinion, because it's something that a lot of people aren't quick to buy for themselves. If you know what scents they like, go for it! Otherwise, stick to a blogger/Instagram approved candle like the ones from Jo Malone, Byredo, and Diptyque. Another great option is the Volcano candle from Capri Blue (the one they burn in Anthropologie) which you can get from Anthropologie or Altar'd State.

Perfume Discovery Set
Fragrance, like candles, is another great gift option since it's something that most people don't buy for themselves very often. By choosing a discovery set, you're basically giving multiple gifts and allow the recipient to choose their favorites. Certain Sephora discovery sets even come with a voucher for a free full-size fragrance! 

Skincare Gift Set
Sephora has a huge selection of skincare gift sets, so you can pick one from your recipient's favorite brand if you know it or allow them to try something new. I suggest keeping it fairly simple (no intense, specific treatments since you may not know their specific concerns) by choosing face masks or facial mists.

Framed Art Print
Everyone can use a cute art print at home or at work! Whether it's photography, illustration or a motivational quote, be sure to have the piece pre-framed so that you're not giving the recipient something else to add to their to-do list.

Monogram Necklace
So simple and easy and all you have to know is their first initial. Stick with something simple and delicate in a timeless gold or silver. That way, the necklace can be used as a layering piece and won't quickly go out of style.

Luxury Bath Product
This is a great way to buy someone Chanel without paying a lot. Net-a-Porter and Violet Grey have a great selection of high-end bath products.

Cute Market Tote
For this gift, you could choose something traditionally cute, cheeky, or specific to the person's tastes. Places like Ban.Do, Target, Nordstrom, and Urban Outfitters have lots of great options. Plus, everyone can use an extra tote bag for the market, school, or work.

I say this because I know that I can never have enough journals. A pretty journal makes a great gift because it's practical and general enough that you could even buy one for a complete stranger if needed. However, it means a lot when someone pinpoints your personality with a journal. My go-to for cute journals are Rifle Paper Company, Sugar Paper, and HomeGoods.

I know some people say they have too many mugs but I think if your friend is a coffee or tea drinker, you can't go wrong. Keep it simple with a solid color or get personal with a monogram or unique design from Anthropologie.

Phone Case
I like this idea for a gift because it's very practical. Some would say necessary, although---gasp--I don't use a phone case currently, which many say is precarious. There are so many cute cases around these days, especially at Kate Spade and Rifle Paper Company and your friend will thank you the next time they drop their phone.

Lifestyle Book
Gifting a specific fiction or non-fiction book can be difficult unless you definitively know that the person wants that book. My alternative is to buy a lifestyle book that they can use as coffee table decor or that they will re-read several times. For this, I like the Times' 36 Hours travel book, Lisa Birnbach's True Prep, or Bloom: Navigating Life and Style by Estee Lalonde.

Halo Top Birthday Cake Ice-Cream
Finally, the easiest birthday gift is a treat and even better is a guilt-free treat like Halo Top's Birthday Cake ice-cream which contains only 280 calories per pint plus 20 grams of protein.