A Guide to Making Your Female Bestie Feel Special on Her Special Day
Eeeek! What day is today? If you’re reading this article, chances are it’s your female friend’s birthday – or very, very close to it. But don’t worry. Even in a serious time crunch, you can put together a gift that your friend is going to love.
Birthdays are the perfect occasion to show the people in your life that you care about them – whether for an entire evening or just a couple of minutes, you drop what you’re doing to celebrate them 🥳
Unfortunately, finding the perfect gift for the female friends in your life is easier said than done. Whether you’re shopping for the bestie you’ve swapped secrets with at sleepovers since elementary school, or you’re a guy trying to pick out a gift that hits the right vibe for a female friend, everyone needs a little inspiration now and again.
Luckily for you, our writers have put together their recommendations for the best of the best last-minute birthday gifts that will save you even when 2-day shipping can’t.
Here’s a sneak peek at what’s on the list:
Sound like we’ve covered all the bases? We think so too.
Before we get on with our list, let’s take a minute to chat about what GiftYa is. On a basic level, it’s a digital gift card – but it’s actually so much more than that.
Yes, you can send a GiftYa to any of the brands indicated below in just a couple of clicks. And sure, it tracks the gift balance so your female friend doesn’t have to. Can you customize it with a personalized message? For sure. You can choose from a preset birthday-themed style or give it your own unique flair with a personal message, picture of you and your friend, or even a video – finally, a way to repurpose that boomerang from brunch!
GiftYa can be used via app or linked to one of the credit cards she carries in her purse everyday anyway – that way she can earn miles, points, or other rewards as she uses her gift balance too.
You can click here to learn more about how GiftYa works, but now that we’re on the same page, it’s time to get to the good stuff. Without further ado, our list of the most-popular last-minute birthday gifts for a female friend.
An ULTA Beauty gift card is a surprisingly versatile gift. For anyone not in the know, ULTA is one of the major beauty stores in the United States, dedicated to providing all things beauty, all in one place. Which means with an ULTA Beauty gift card, your female friend could:
Plus, ULTA has made commitments to diversity & inclusion as well as sustainability, so it’s a brand you can feel good about supporting.
Painting with a Twist is one of the OGs in the paint and sip space, and with over 240 locations as of this writing, it’s not hard to find a shop nearby. If your friend is something of a creative type, this is great news for you. Whether she prefers to get in the zone all on her own, likes getting crafty with her girlfriends for a girl’s night out, or would love to plan a romantic evening of art-making with her special someone, Painting with a Twist is a great option for any girl’s birthday gift.
Solo spots in classes typically range from $39-$49 depending on the length of the class, so keep that in mind when choosing a dollar amount for your gift. Classes typically include all of the supplies she’ll need to make a masterpiece, but most studios are BYOW (bring your own wine). If you have the time to swing by and grab a bottle to round out your present, this last-minute birthday gift will look so good she’ll never know how quickly it came together.
New year, new you, no? Sometimes another trip around the sun is just the excuse you need to shake up your style, and Stitch Fix can definitely help. When members sign up, they are matched with a personal stylist who pick out pieces just for them. Your friend will receive a box full of new duds tailored to her unique fashion sense and lifestyle needs. She’ll be charged for what she decides to keep, and everything else goes back to Stitch Fix for free.
For that reason, the actual price of a Stitch Fix membership varies from month to month. The monthly minimum cost is $20 – but the actual price will depend on how many items she keeps and whether she leans more towards luxury brands or lesser-known labels. So keep those factors in mind when picking out a dollar amount for your gift.
If your female friend is a fashionista, Stitch Fix will be a fun treat for her. But it’s also a great option for busy ladies who may not have the time to spend experimenting with new trends on their own – like new moms, busy professionals, or college students on a tight budget. Stitch Fix is a great way to cut through the muss and fuss and help your female friend find new styles that really suit her – without wasting a ton of time and money on ones that don’t.
Shopping for a bookworm seems deceptively simple – after all, there are plenty of bookish gifts out there, and their TBR pile is basically a shopping list, right? But once you actually wade into the multi-genre mess that is their reading list, you might be feeling a little less certain about which titles they’re most interested in adding to their shelf.
Don’t worry – you can leave the actual book-selecting up to them when you gift them a Book of the Month gift card or membership. The experts at BOTM offer a curated list of 5 new-release titles in a variety of genres every month – and members select one to have delivered to their door (with the option of adding additional books for an additional fee).
As of this writing, a 3-book (read: 3 month) membership will run you $49.99 – squeezing it in just below the wire if you were hoping to spend less than 50 smackers on your last-minute gift.
Nintendo released its newest console – the Switch – clear back in 2017, but it skyrocketed in popularity during the pandemic. If your friend has one at home, a digital gift card to the Nintendo eShop is a great gift option – especially with so many new games recently released or on the horizon.
At the February 2023 Nintendo Direct, the brand announced that GameBoy and GameBoy Advance games have been added to the library available to Nintendo Online subscribers. They also released the much-awaited remaster of Metroid Prime and gave an update on the highly-anticipated next installment in the Zelda franchise, Tears of the Kingdom.
Not to mention, there are plenty of cozy gaming options out there for the more casual video game enthusiast.
When we think of birthdays, a few things come to mind: parties, pinatas, streamers, and of course, the piece de resistance of every birthday celebration, the birthday cake. And when it comes to birthday cakes, few places do it better than Cold Stone Creamery. The handcrafted treats include layers of moist cake and rich, creamy ice cream for an unforgettable dessert. She can choose a signature cake or build her own custom creation, picking out all the flavors and mix-ins herself.
Even if she decides not to go the ice cream cake direction (unthinkable, but possible), Cold Stone has plenty of treats for any other day of the year as well.
Socks and underwear might get a bad reputation as boring gifts, but sometimes refreshing your underwear drawer is a nice and much-needed pick-me-up. That’s why a gift card to Third Love makes our list today – it’s just a quality of life upgrade. The brand carries 60+ sizes (including half sizes), which means she can get rid of anything in her closet that doesn’t fit and replace it with something brand new that does.
Once upon a time, Yankee Candle was the only name in the candle game. But over the years, Bath & Body Works has established a near cult following for its “scent-sational” three wicks. With massive Black Friday Sales closely followed by the free-for-all that is their Candle Day Sale on the first Saturday of December, you’d be hard pressed to find a female friend who doesn’t have at least one of these babies on a bookshelf or windowsill in her home.
Even if candles aren’t a part of her relaxation routine, she’ll be sure to find a fragrance she enjoys. Bath & Body Works offers everything from room sprays and wall plug-ins, to hand soaps and hand sanitizers, to body washes, lotions, and personal fragrance in a dizzying array of seasonal and year-round scent options.
If your friend’s birthday slipped your mind until the day-of, there’s no reason to panic. We hope that the brands we picked out here have given you some ideas for last-minute gifts that are awesome enough that they look like they took much longer to plan. If you didn’t quite find what you’re looking for, check out the full GiftYa catalog for dozens of other national brands as well as thousands of local ones.
Regardless of what you choose to give your female friend for her birthday, we hope she loves it. Happy shopping!