Carina Samantha Santos

I make stuff up

London & Manila

— MRes Art: Theory & Philosophy, Central Saint Martins





Editorial design & illustration

CNN Philippines Life
Esquire Philippines
Rogue Magazine

Book design

A Waiting Room Companion

The First Impulse

Cupid’s Rage

Taming People’s Power


Don’t Forget, Clementine

Bones Like Snowflakes

Winter Quay/Summer Blankets


“There’s something really funny about our music, because it’s often so heart-on-your-sleeve, a little bit. We know how that can be embarrassing. We’re just not worried about embarrassing ourselves anymore.” ¹ The album is an intimation of loss, self-destruction, and the possibility of redemption. ² It’s a song for when life gets too heavy, and you need a song you can sink into — just for four minutes — so you don’t drown inside yourself. ³ 

Zayn Malik — for L’Officiel Manila

Zayn By Any Other Name

When your name literally means “beautiful king,” one can imagine how that might be hard to live up to. That is, unless you’re Zayn Malik.

Both Arabic in origin, Zayn—a stylized spelling of his given name, Zain—means “beauty” and Malik means “King.” Born to British-Pakistani dad Yasser and English mum Tricia, the biracial former member of One Direction wowed everyone outside their tween demographic when he made several appearances at Paris Fashion Week 2015. Just a few months after leaving the boy band, he showed off designer duds and a newly-shorn and bleached hairstyle, making even the notorious non-smiler, Kanye West, grin.

Beauty is subjective, but the world seems to be in agreement that whatever “it” is, Zayn has it. There are countless odes to his eyelashes and his cheekbones, Tumblr “master posts” on everything from the freckle on his left eye to the way he pushes his tongue against the back of his teeth when he smiles. Google pulls up 34,800,000 search results just for “Zayn Malik hair,” where “zayn beautiful” yields 51,400,000 results. Most recently, Zayn was one of the eight chosen cover stars of Interview Magazine’s September issue—his first cover as a signed solo artist. Dubbed “The #ME Issue,” Zayn’s cover features a shirtless selfie and his new Instagram handle, @zayn.

On The Graham Norton Show last December, he read out a few fan reactions to a single strand that fell across Zayn’s face at the American Music Awards. The tweets were mainly along the lines of “Zayn’s single strand of hair is prettier than my entire face.”

It seems that no one can bring up Zayn Malik without a brief mention of his voice or how beautiful his face is. Outside the 1D fandom, people mainly know him for his face. Although Zayn lost to former bandmates as this year’s Teen Choice Awards Choice Male Hottie, Nick Grimshaw seemed to be sure he was going to win it. On The Breakfast Show last June, he asserted the likelihood of Zayn’s win, saying “Zayn Malik’s face is like a joke. It’s like someone made it in a lab. It’s incredible. Have you seen it in real life? It’s insane. You can’t even look at it.”

Grimmy’s not alone. Comedian Will Ferrell joins in on the Zayn love, saying “And, Zayn, once you look in to his eyes, it’s lights out.”

The award for biggest A-lister Zayn stan, however, goes to none other than Ryan Reynolds who tweeted the ultimate trifecta of adoration, showing candid and honest dedication (“Love to know where the discarded hair is and how it might be purchased. It’s not for a friend. It’s for me.”), an appreciation for the creative arts (“Paint one mural of Zayn on the hood of your car using gold leaf and real hair, and suddenly you’re “obsessed”.”), and a love that runs deep, involving even the PotUS himself (“Mr.President: Is there a sustainable, long term plan for carbon reduction? And if so, why would Zayn just leave?”).

Often dubbed by his fans as the “Beyoncé of One Direction,” Zayn has come a long way from the kid who sang Mario’s “Let Me Love You” for an audition his mother had to drag him out of bed for.

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© Carina Samantha Santos

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