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.

Zoe Saldana and Marco Perego attend the Opening Ceremony dinner during the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival
Zoe Saldana Admits She Planned Her Wedding in Three Weeks

When you know, you know! Zoe Saldana cleared the air when it came to her whirlwind romance with husband Marco Perego. In the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter, the actress revealed that while she met her husband only a few months before getitng married, she's "known" him for much longer.


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Selena Gomez in Saint Tropez
Selena Shows Major Skin While Out With Cara Delevigne

Que linda! Selena Gomez attended Leonardo DiCaprio's Foundation Gala in St. Tropez, a benefit that raised over $25 million for the foundation that works to protect wildlife around the globe.

The 22-year-old hopped off a boat in a gown featuring a high-slit, with matching heels. She finished the look by pulling back her hair and going for a smokey eye look. 


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6 Facts About Tequila That Change Everything!
6 Facts About Tequila That Change Everything

Tequila, oh how we love you. But did you know that in order to be called “tequila,” a drink must meet certain characteristics – by law?! Yep, it’s true. But that’s not the only thing you never knew about tequila. Here are six facts about the Mexican liquor that you never knew:


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Eva Longoria attends the 'Saint Laurent' premiere during the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival
Eva Longoria Says Way We're Handling Border Crisis Is "Un-American"

Eva Longoria has always been forthright with her opinions on political issues, and this time is no different. While the border crisis continues, Eva Longoria took to the stage at the National Council of La Raza's Award Gala, where she was being honored for her activism, to talk frankly about the influx of migrant children.


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Naya Rivera and Ryan Dorsey ride horses in Mexico on their honeymoon
6 Reasons to Be Jealous of Naya Rivera & Ryan Dorsey's Honeymoon in Mexico

Congratulations to Naya Rivera! The Glee star has tied the knot to longtime friend (turned partner) Ryan Dorsey. After saying "I do" in front of close family and friends, the couple enjoyed their honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Take a peek at their sweet time together:


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Jennifer Lopez in a bikini
The 30 Sexiest Summer Bodies!

Summer will soon rear its hot head and we're more motivated than ever before to hit the gym! We've also got this group of Latina celebs whose bodies are fit and ready for summer - and whose swimsuits inspire us to do some major shopping.


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Michelle Rodriguez with bangs
Michelle Rodriguez Gets a New 'Do - But What Does Her Caption Mean?

New man, new 'do? Michelle Rodriguez posted a selfie on her Instagram account, showing off her new bangs. The caption is a little less than clear: ""Finally got my hair bid. New Look New Life New Vibe washed yesterday right out of my hair looking forward baby," she wrote. We guess she's moving on and thinking positively! 


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Naya Rivera is Married! Actress Weds Ryan Dorsey
Naya Rivera is Married! Actress Weds Ryan Dorsey

So unexpected, but so beautiful! Naya Rivera wed longtime friend and actor Ryan Dorsey on July 19 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, People confirms. The Glee star and Dorsey said "I do" in front of close friends and family.


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Sheryl Sandberg TED Talks
5 Seriously Incredible TED Talks Every Latina Should See

If you’ve never heard of TED Talks, here’s what you need to know: influencers, academics and all-around smarty pants give speeches (usually under 20 minutes) that are designed to be “ideas worth spreading.” The nonprofit hopes to shape new ideas and thinking around a myriad of different topics and industries – and help audience members rethink they way they see the world. Here are 5 amazingly brilliant talks every Latina should watch:


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Jessica Alba presents her new book during Book Signing For 'The Honest Life'
Jessica Alba: "I Hate Working Out!"

Don't let the body fool you: if Jessica Alba had her way, she'd never be in a gym. "I hate working out," the 33-year-old spilled to Self magazine. "It's boring!" 

"I really only did it when I had a job that was physically demanding," she continued. "But from age 17 until I was 27, all I did were movies that were physically demanding -- so all I did was work out all the time!" 


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