Samantha Leal Deputy Editor

Samantha Leal is the Deputy 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.

Excuse us?! Women Have to Submit Pap Smear Results to Teach São Paulo
Excuse Us?! Women Have to Submit Pap Smear Results to Teach in São Paulo

Que?! Women in São Paulo, Brazil are now required to submit the results of a pap smear or a doctor's note proving their virginity before they can be hired. 

The city's department of education says that the policy is put in place to prove that women are in good health and won't be taking long leaves of absence while employed, and that other governmental jobs have similar policies. (Again, we say: que?!)

Brazilian women, justifiably, are saying it's a huge invasion of privacy. 


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Woman Tracks Down Mother Who Abandoned Her as a Baby — Only to Realize She Married Her Brother
Woman Tracks Down Mother Who Abandoned Her as a Baby — Only to Realize She Married Her Brother

Noooooooo! This is seriously the stuff of nightmares and reality TV shows. A Brazilian woman searching for her long-lost mother ended up finding her — while also finding out she had inadvertently married her brother. 


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Selena Gomez at the Teen Choice Awards
Get the Look: Selena Gomez's Sleek Ponytail From The Teen Choice Awards!

Didn't Selena Gomez look amazing at the Teen Choice Awards? Her smoldering cat-eye paired with her tailored Saint Laurent suit was a youthful take on a grown-up look. Keeping her hair sleek, celebrity stylist Lona Vigi shared how to get the look at home. Check it out:


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Selena Gomez with curly hair
Chicas Con Rizos! 13 Curly-Haired Celebs We Love

Put the straightener down! Whether tightly coiled or soft and spiraled, it’s time to embrace your curls – just like these Hollywood stars. Take a peek at your curly hair hermanas:


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Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn
Hollywood's Message to Latinas: "Shut Up And Take Off Your Clothes"

Thanks, Hollywood. For as many strides as Latinos (and specifically, Latinas) are making on the screen, it seems like not much has changed.


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Latina Loves: Have You Tried Blue Apron Yet?
Latina Loves: Have You Tried Blue Apron Yet? Here's Why You Should

You guys, I've seen the light. As a single New Yorker, I find myself ordering takeout and eating snacks as "meals," more times than I really care to admit. (Okay -- all the time.) That is, until I found out about Blue Apron. The company is slowly and surely teaching me some things in the cocina, and it's resulting in some delish meals and Instagram-worthy foodie photos. Sorry, I'm one of those people.


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Taco Bell Manager Says She Was Fired For Hiring Latinos
Taco Bell Manager Says She Was Fired For Hiring Latinos

So many things wrong with this: a Taco Bell has filed a suit against her store, alleging that she was fired for hiring Latino workers. Juanita O’Connell, a 60-year-old employee who is of Mexican descent herself, has worked at the company since 1987.


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The 11 Best Dressed Latina Stars of the Week!
The 11 Best Dressed Latina Stars of the Week!

Our stars were all about the crop tops this past week, but that's not the only fashion trick (or trend) up their sleeves. Take a look at the most stylish stars:


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Jennifer Lopez Shows Off Short and Curly Hair
#CurlyHairDontCare! Jennifer Lopez Shows Off a Short New 'Do

Que linda! Jennifer Lopez showed off her naturally curly hair in an Instagram selfie. She captioned the photo: ""Wheels up!! Next stop LA... #curlyhairdontcare #myNYlook #gonnamissNY #greatvacation #backtowork"

The boricua has been on the east coast for the past couple of weeks, including celebrating her birthday with friends. Now it seems the performer is heading back to the land of angels.

We say: wear your hair curly more often, J.Lo! We love it.


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Adrienne Bailon Latina magazine cover shoot video
Adrienne Bailon: Behind the Scenes at Her Latina Cover Shoot!

Grab a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Adrienne Bailon's September 2014 Latina cover, officially on newsstands, Nook & Kindle Fire August 12, 2014! Don't miss exclusive interviews, outtakes, and more at latina.com/adrienne


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