Samantha Leal Senior Editor

Samantha Leal is the Senior Editor for Latina.com, where she edits and oversees the site's content with a focus on fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

She grew up in South Bend, Indiana (go Notre Dame!) and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University before setting out for New York City. Her work has been published by TheAtlantic.com, Glamour.com, Refinery29.com and more.

When she’s not working, you’ll find her reading (YA novels, mostly), watching too many YouTube videos and writing short stories. You can follow her on Twitter at @samanthajoleal and read her style and music blog at notesonstyle.com.

Favorite Latina fashionista: Nicole Richie

The Latino celeb I'd want to be best friends with: Selena Gomez

My first celebrity crush: Mike Vitar aka Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez from the movie The Sandlot.

Something people don't know about me: I have a phobia of needles and blood.

Guilty pop culture addiction: Anything on The CW.

My Latina Role Model: Salma Hayek

Fun Memory from My First Day at Latina: My first day was a blur!

Two words that describe Elvis Crespo: Very interesting…

If I met Jennifer Lopez, I would: be a total fangirl. I've loved her since she was a fly girl on 'In Living Color'

Latino artist on my iPod right now: Pitbull

Favorite Interview with a Latino Celeb: Daddy Yankee or Adriana Lima

Favorite Latin dish: Mexican chorizo tacos

Favorite Spanish-Language Song: Como La Flor - Selena Quintanilla

Proudest Moment as a Latino: When the Wise Latina herself, Sonia Sotomayor, was named to the Supreme Court.

Why Selena Stopped Using Her Parents as Managers
Why Selena Stopped Using Her Parents as Managers

The entertainment industry is known for young celebrities having a hybrid in their lives: the momager. Part parent, part manager, the roles can work to have the best interest of the star in mind -- but it can also lead to strained relationships and bad decisions. Now it seems Selena Gomez, 21, is ready for a new change of pace, as she drops the "manager" from her parents' titles.


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When 80s Goes Wrong: What's Happening With J.Lo's Hair?
When 80s Goes Wrong: What's Happening With J.Lo's Hair?

J.Lo always looks flawless. So it's always a bit of a surprise to see her in a questionable style or sillhouette. Case in point? This interesante 80s hairstyle that she wore on last night's American Idol episode. To be fair: it was an 80s episode, where contestants belted out tunes that fit the theme. But we're still unsure whether we're feeling it. On the plus side, there was one hairdo (or don't, depending on your take) that outshined Lopez's: Keith Urban rocked a mullet.

What do you think of J.Lo's hair? An 80s 'do or a forever don't?


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The 7 Cutest Makeup Bags for Spring!
The 7 Cutest Makeup Bags for Spring!

These fun beauty holders will stash all your essentials and add some whimsy to your vanity.


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Selena Gomez & Justin Bieber Reunited in Miami Recording Studio
Selena Gomez & Justin Bieber Reunited in Miami Recording Studio

She can't seem to quit him. Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber were seen reuniting in a Miami studio on Tuesday, April 8, reports Us Weekly. Bieber, 20, held open the door for Gomez, 21, both wearing super-casual clothing. 


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Consider This Your Newest Instagram Obsession!
Instagram Cutie Alert: Lucas Leon!

Omgee. Nicole Gonzalez is a mommy blogger -- and a pretty new one at that. Starting her blog "Lillies and Leon" almost a year ago, the New York mami chronicles her life with her husband and her little boy: Lucas Léon. But the blog isn't her only outlet -- her Instagram has us falling in love! The niño is so cute, we can't get enough (and neither can her almost 10K followers). Take a look at these adorable posts and see more at Instagram.com/LilliesandLeon!


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Leslie Grace for Colgate Optic White
13 Beautiful Celebrity Beauty Ambassadors!

Latina women spend three times as much as non-Latinas on beauty products. (Seriously.) So it makes sense that many Latina celebrities are the face of some of our favorite beauty brands! See which famous faces lend theirs to these current beauty campaigns:


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The 8 Best Dressed Latina Stars of the Week!
The 8 Best Dressed Latina Stars of the Week!

Whether at a charity gala or sliming it up at the Kids' Choice Awards, these Latina stars showed off their fashion sense in a big way. Check out the most stylish stars from this week:


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Lupita Nyong'o is the New Face of Lancome!
Lupita Nyong'o is the New Face of Lancome!

Que linda! Lupita Nyong'o has been named the newest brand ambassadress for Maison Lancome, joining Penelope Cruz, Lily Collins, Kate Winslet, Daria Webowy, and Julia Roberts. The 31-year-old Mexican-born, Kenyan actress (or as Lupita says: "a Mexi-Kenyan") is excited for her new role:


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Michelle Rodriguez and Cara Delevingne in Miami after a Mexico vacation
Michelle Rodriguez Makes Out With Topless Girlfriend Cara Delevingne

Ah, love. After going public with their relationship at a Knicks game, Michelle Rodriguez and model Cara Delevingne were spotted making out in Cancun, Mexico.

The 21-year-old model and 35-year-old actress enjoyed splashing in water and being together under the sun. The model also went topless, avoiding tanlines and giving the photographers a show. 


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Majandra Delfino at the 2011 Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party
Majandra Delfino Talks ‘Friends With Better Lives’, Motherhood & Never Being Cast as a Latina

In the show Friends with Better Lives, Majandra Delfino gets to tackle the age-old question that many deal with: is the grass truly greener on the other side? The 33-year-old mother of two, who was born in Venezuela to a Cuban mother and Venezuelan father, stars alongside James Van Der Beek, Kevin Connolly and Brooklyn Decker in the new CBS comedy.


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