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.

WATCH: This Mom's Moves Will Make Your Day
WATCH: This Mom's Moves Will Make Your Day

This is the mom we all love. One who takes great pleasure in embarrassing and having fun with her daughter at every opportunity. While attempting to record herself singing "Some Nights" by Fun., the teen gets a little help from madre. See what we mean below:

PLUS: Watch this news anchor break it down to T.I.'s "Where They At Doe"


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5 Tips for Healthier Curly Hair
5 Tips for Healthier Curly Hair

Love your rizos? Well, it's time you took care of them — properly. We got the scoop from YouTube personality and beauty vlogger Alba Garcia of SunKissAlba to you the 411 on keeping those curls looking gorgeous. 

MORE: 5 reasons to stop relaxing your daughter's hair


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WATCH: Selena Gomez Celebrates the Holidays With Her Mexican Family!
WATCH: Selena Gomez Celebrates the Holidays With Her Mexican Family!

Nothing beats spending time with your family for the holidays. And Selena Gomez did just that, posting a video of her family gathering on the day after Thanksgiving

MORE: Selena Gomez releases emotional new music video


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Roberto Gomez Bolanos "Chespirito" Dead at 85
Roberto Gomez Bolanos — Known as "Chespirito" — Dead at 85

Iconic Mexican screenwriter, actor and comedian Roberto Gomez Bolaños has passed away in his Cancun home after suffering from heart failure, reports the Latin Times. The legend was known for his title role on El Chavo del Ochowhich he created. The show itself came from a sketch in Bolaños' comedy show, Chespirito.


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EXCLUSIVE: Adrienne Bailon Talks Favorite Books & Authors
EXCLUSIVE: Adrienne Bailon Talks Favorite Books & Authors

Welcome to this episode of Bailon's Books!


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Jessica Alba Explores Her Mexican Roots on PBS
Jessica Alba Explores Her Mexican Roots on PBS

Jessica Alba is exploring her Mexican heritage in a new episode of Finding Your Roots, a PBS series that explores geneology and identity. 

The episode features Jessica Alba and her father, Mark Alba (who is of Mexican descent), shifting through photos and documents related to her ancestors. 


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Latino Voters Overwhelmingly Support Obama's Executive Action on Immigration
Latino Voters Overwhelmingly Support Obama's Executive Action on Immigration

A new poll released on Monday shows that almost 9 in 10 registered Latino voters support President Barack Obama's Executive Action on immigration, which would help undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S.


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Guess Who Beat Out Barbie For Top Christmas Present This Year?
Guess Who Beat Out Barbie For Top Christmas Present This Year?

Barbie has been replaced. For the first time in 11 years, the top holiday present for little girls is anything Frozenreports PEOPLE. The National Retail Federation reports that one in five parents, or 20 percent, plan to buy Frozen merchandise for their girls.


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16 Thanksgiving Cocktails That Are Actually Worth the Effort
16 Thanksgiving Cocktails That Are Actually Worth the Effort

While some of you may whip up a drink like you’re a host on The Food Network, some of us consider opening a bottle of wine a culinary treat. (“Pinot Noir, annnnnd you’re welcome.”) But sometimes, the extra effort is actually worth it. Here are some cocktails that will wow your family (and your tastebuds) and have instructions that even your 10-year-old could follow. (But, maybe don’t have them make the drink… 21 and over, mi gente.)


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