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.

Hair Chameleon: A Deeper Look at Demi Lovato's Various 'Dos
Hair Chameleon: A Deeper Look at Demi Lovato's Various 'Dos

Demi Lovato is a true hair chameleon, like we awarded her last year. The 21-year-old loves dying her locks regularly and she's not stopping anytime soon — though she will sometimes, apparently, rock her natural hue. Even when she's keeping it neutral color-wise, she is also always switching it up with a new cut or style.


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Exclusive Outtakes From Morena Baccarin's November 2014 Cover Shoot
Exclusive Outtakes: Morena Baccarin's November 2014 Cover Shoot

Want more of our November 2014 cover star Morena Baccarin? Check out these exclusive quotes from her cover shoot and don't miss the rest of her interview on newsstands October 14!


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Selena Gomez: "I Don't Handle All Of This As Well As People Think"
Selena Gomez: "I Don't Handle All Of This As Well As People Think"

Selena Gomez is coming clean about her struggles with fame. In an interview with Into the Gloss, the singer confided: "It's been such a transitional year for me—I moved out of my parents' house this year and into my own place. Sometimes, I'll be honest, I don't handle all of this as well as people think, so it's been important to really figure out what makes me feel grounded."


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OITNB News: Season Three Will Focus On...
OITNB News: Season Three Will Focus On...

We've got news for you Orange is the New Black fans! While creators are keeping a tight lid on season three of the popular Netflix show, Piper Kerman (the woman the show is based on as well as a script consultant) released some details on the theme of the season. 


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The 15 Best Dressed Latinas at the Hollywood Hot List Party!
The 15 Best Dressed Latinas at the Hollywood Hot List Party!

Tons of celebrities and entertainers hit the carpet for Latina’s Hollywood Hot List party, and they were definitely dressed to impress. But while everyone looked fantastic, some rose to the top of the fashion tier. Take a look at some of the most stylish stars of the night! 


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EXCLUSIVE: Constance Marie Talks 'Selena' & Shares Her Advice for Latinas Today
EXCLUSIVE: Constance Marie Talks 'Selena' & Shares Her Advice for Latinas Today

Hitting the red carpet for Latina's Hollywood Hot List party, Constance Marie was nothing short of inspirational. Check out her clip above to see her talk about the beginnings of Latina magazine, how far Latinos have come in Hollywood and what Latinas need to know about celebrating their identities.


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EXCLUSIVE: Dascha Polanco Talks About Pride at the Hollywood Hot List Party!
EXCLUSIVE: Dascha Polanco Talks About Pride at the Hollywood Hot List Party!

Latina's Hollywood Hot List party went off with a bang last night, as celebrities and influencers hit the red carpet to celebrate the changing faces of Hollywood. We caught up with Dascha Polanco to get her thoughts on Latinos in Hollywood and what makes her proud to be Latina. Watch!


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Hollywood Hot List 2014: See the Celebs Who Hit the Red Carpet!
Hollywood Hot List 2014: See the Celebs Who Hit the Red Carpet!

Our Hollywood Hot List party is here! The event recognizes the industry trailblazers and up-and-coming faces that are representing and making a place for Latinos in entertainment. Take a look at the celebs who hit the red carpet: 


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Fashion Retrospective: Camilla Belle
Fashion Retrospective: Camilla Belle

Camilla Belle has practically grown-up in front of the cameras – and her style has too! Navigating a few pitfalls, this emerging fashionista has come into her own over the years, finding out what works best for her. Take a look at her fashion evolution.


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Ariana Grande Talks Being Compared to Mariah Carey: "It's Honestly a Great Honor"
Ariana Grande Talks Being Compared to Mariah Carey: "It's Honestly a Great Honor"

Ariana Grande packs a large voice in that tiny frame! Since hitting it big with her multi-octave singing, she's been compared countless times to Mariah Carey. But what does she think of the comparison?


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