"When I go out, I like going to pubs and bars...places I can just be with my mates. I went bowling last night, actually. I go twice a week to the Gutter—my friends and I have a league. We're called the Four Forty Fives, because we meet at 4:45 and that's when we start drinking. [Laughs] Or we'll go listen to music. There are some really good gigs at the Good Room, which is in Greenpoint. It's casual. I don't often go to big events, but tonight's the Dior Poison Girl party, so I'm getting dressed up.
I'm very old-school with what I wear—I don't do oversized, boyfriend stuff. I like something that's fitted, not too revealing, maybe showing a bit of shoulder... Always dresses, always heels. Even just to go to the shops or supermarket, you'll never see me in a tracksuit bottom. [Laughs] There's no word for how much I love velvet, it's literally like walking in a cloud. I'm really into touch and texture. I like those soft feels.
Makeup-wise, I usually do this dot underneath my eye. I just like it, it's very '60s. I was on a Vogue shoot with Pat [McGrath] and Guido, and Pat was like, 'How do you normally do your makeup?' And I showed her the dot, and she's like, 'Why don't we do that?' Pat is amazing, she's so creative but she collaborates. And Steven [Meisel] was great too. He loves to bowl too, he takes Pat and Guido bowling! Anyway, I use a felt-tip eyeliner always—Pat gave me hers, which is great, because it's thin on one end and thick on the other. But it's always a felt tip. The more I think about it, the more I fuck it up. What you have to do is just naturally [flicking noise] and get it over with.
Or I won't do an eye and I'll do a really, really red lip instead. Tonight it's Dior Trafalgar with the Everdior gloss over top. Sometimes I'll wear a brown. I have a bunch of Burberry Kisses browns, and they stay. I have big lips, and I don't want to overwhelm people. If it's too much, it's like, 'Ahh!' It's a playful thing for me. I don't wear makeup to enhance my features or anything, I just put it on because I like to paint [my face] and add color. My best friend Francis is a makeup artist, he's got Kryolan and everything, and we'll stay in and play around with the whole New Romantic-Leigh Bowery look. I think in places like New York, being conventionally pretty or good-looking is obsolete. I think people are rising above that, and it's more about personality and creativity. Ugly is actually beautiful. I really like that.
I tend not to touch my hair because it ends up getting too frizzy. I used to have it up all of the time, but I've been letting it down recently. Sometimes, though, the friction against my clothes makes it go frizzy. And I wash it twice a week. It's important I don't wash it too much. I love buying new shampoos and stuff like that, and I just bought these strange Polish hair products called Eva Natura. I have no clue what's in them, but they look really natural. I've been using the Birch Tar Shampoo and it stinks! Literally, my hair smells like tarmac. I thoroughly regret having bought it, but I still use it, because it's good for my hair. It was at a deli in my neighborhood, so I bought it. I'm very curious about things. I think that's the key to happiness—you've got to be insatiably curious, every day."
—as told to ITG
Hayett McCarthy photographed by Tom Newton in New York on January 31, 2017. Makeup by Gina Daddona for Dior. Hair by Benoit Moeyaert.