A 23-Year-Old Tells Us What to Get Someone for Their 21st Birthday

Because millennials are confusing.

It can be tricky to know what to gift people in their 20s, let alone someone celebrating the big 2-1. Just saying, this is the birthday that every girl (myself included!) dreams about throughout their teens and is convinced will permanently change their social life forever. In their mind, it’s going to be the best night of their life. With such high expectations, you can’t gift a cliché bottle of alcohol to celebrate—you’re better than that!

These millennials have rapidly changing tastes and I don’t blame you if you’re totally stumped on what would have their seal of approval. But I'm here to help. It wasn’t so long ago that I celebrated this milestone birthday—only two short years ago, to be exact—so I know a thing or two about what she's going to love SO much that she Snapchats it immediately.

Below are 13 perfect gifts every girl would want to receive on the day she’s finally allowed to (legally) do shots.

The Chic Birthday Headband

Let’s go beyond the plastic Party City options out there and give the birthday girl what she really wants—a headband that let’s everyone know it’s her birthday that is super chic, too.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $15.95

A Super Girly Flask

Perfectly portable, this stainless steel heart-shaped flask has a screw top and can accommodate six ounces of her favorite libation. Even though she doesn’t need to sneak around anymore when it comes to alcohol, this flask will still be a party favorite amongst her friends.

BUY FROM: Urban Outfitters, $14

A Traveling Party Game

Because 21-year-olds play beer pong. You’ll score major points with this one, we promise.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $7.95

No Beer Allowed

Kick her birthday party pre-game into high gear with this book that features 105 easy-to-make cocktails. Because even though she might still be in college, tonight’s not the night for a kegger.

BUY FROM: Barnes & Noble, SALE $5.99 (Regularly $17.95, 67% Off!)

How to Get the Pre-Game Party Started

A lot of pre-games consist of taking photos and coming up with caption and uploading them and then refreshing to see who’s liked and commented. Not very, um, fun. Or interactive. Unify the party with this hilarious game that is equal parts high school and adult.

BUY FROM: Amazon, SALE $19.99 (Regularly $25, 20% Off!)

The Cake That Keeps On Giving

Girls of all ages like cake – and if you don’t, you probably like the smell of it. Months after her birthday celebration, she’ll still be able to lather up this 3-in-1 product that works as shampoo, shower gel and lip shine. (Yes, really.)

BUY FROM: Amazon, $20

Because They’re Practically Begging to Get Carded

Newly-minted 21-year-olds want to get carded. And not because they’re flattered that the bouncer thinks they look young. These millennials want to show off their brand-spanking-new IDs. Help them stay organized (and keep track of their beloved driver’s license) with this girly girly metallic leather Tory Burch case.

BUY FROM: Bloomingdales, SALE $71.25 (Regularly $95, 25% Off!)

To Capture Those Wild Bday Memories

No birthday is complete without pictures. And nowadays, people like to take pictures of their pictures, and post those pics to social media. You following? (TBH, I would do just about anything to get the perfect ’gram.) This camera is one of our favorites because it’s chic and simple to use.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $59.95

Party in a Palette

If your soon-to-be 21-year-old is also a chocolate lover, just keep reading. This eye shadow palate has 16 chocolate-inspired matte and shimmer colors and is scented with real chocolate. Literally, it smells like chocolate. Yum. Bonus: You’re supplying her with everything she needs to nail her birthday night glam.

BUY FROM: Sephora, $49

Up Their Selfie Game

We promise you, all 21 year olds love taking selfies. And for the selfie-obsessed, this is the perfect gift, as the case lights up and provides the most perfect lighting everrrrr for all those photos of oneself.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $59.99

The Survival Kit

It’s a jungle out there. Even more so when it’s your 21st birthday. This kit will save her if she skins her knee, rips her dress, loses an earring back or realizes maybe she should have worn a bra after all. (Thank goodness for double-sided tape!)

BUY FROM: Sephora, $18

The Hangover Helper

Because after the party there’s the after-party. And after that, there’s usually a pretty bad hangover. This cookbook will her navigate the morning after, when she’s in a world of pain and can’t fathom the idea of heading to brunch.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $7.88

We All Have to Ease Into Adulthood

We would all benefit from a personal assistant. But that’s expensive and not so practical. For the days after her big party, the birthday girl can launch herself into adulthood with this super cute 17-month agenda that will help her stay organized and (hopefully) arrive on time this year.

BUY FROM: Macys, $20

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