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.

The 15 Best Dressed Latinas at the "30 Under 30" Party!
The 15 Best Dressed Latinas at the "30 Under 30" Party!

Stars showed up at the Latina 30 Under 30 event dressed to impress — but some definitely stood out above the rest. Here, we present our best dressed Latinas at the event. Which was your favorite look?

PLUS: See all the celebs at the Latina 30 Under 30 event!


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Latina 30 Under 30: See The Celebs Who Hit The Red Carpet!
Latina 30 Under 30: See The Celebs Who Hit The Red Carpet!

It's time for our 30 Under 30 party in Los Angeles, as we celebrate the young Latinos taking Hollywood and the world by storm! Featuring music mavens, social media superstars, amazing innovators and screen gems, these amazing people are showing their pride and making us proud. Take a look at the celebrities who showed up to honor the bright young stars at the event!


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6 Gifts He’ll Actually Care About
6 Gifts He’ll Actually Care About

Buying for guys is no easy feat — especially when it’s your hermano, papi, or novio. Here are some great ideas that he’ll actually appreciate:

PLUS: Latina editors reveal their holiday wish list! 


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University Board Member Allegedly States “Latinas Do Not Have the DNA to be Successful”
University Board Member Allegedly States “Latinas Do Not Have the DNA to be Successful”

Yikes! Here's hoping this isn't true. An offensive comment about Latinos allegedly made by a San Jose State University foundation board member and donor has set up protests around the school campus, reports Fox News Latino


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Christina Aguilera “More Confident” With Second Child
Christina Aguilera “More Confident” With Second Child

Christina Aguilera is a new mom for the second time, and she's loving it. 

“She’s definitely more confident the second time around with motherhood,” an Aguilera insider tells PEOPLE. The Voice coach and singer is mom to Max, 6, and her newest addition — baby Summer, 3 months.


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Demi Lovato Tweets Against Eating Disorder Misconceptions
Demi Lovato Tweets Against Eating Disorder Misconceptions

Demi Lovato is dropping knowledge and speaking out on eating disorders and mental health. 

“Having an eating disorder doesn't show ‘strength.’ Strength is when are able to overcome your demons after being sick and tired for so long,” she wrote.


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WATCH: Bella Thorne Names Her 30 Under 30
WATCH: Bella Thorne Names Her 30 Under 30

Bella Thorne has been named one of our 30 Under 30, but we wanted to know her favorites in a fun word association game (all in 30 seconds). Play alongside the star and watch the video! 


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WATCH: Pat Sajak Just Gives Up on This Round of 'Wheel of Fortune'
WATCH: Pat Sajak Just Gives Up on This Round of 'Wheel of Fortune'

Pat Sajak is done. Well, he was for a second anyway. In a round of Wheel of Fortune, the host walked off the set for a quick pause after everyone kept guessing something ridiculous. Watch to see what we mean!

PLUS: Puerto Rican Vanna White and other celebrities you didn't know were beauty queens


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Nikki Ferrell Confirms Split From Juan Pablo
Nikki Ferrell Confirms Split From Juan Pablo

It's officially over. While sources told several media outlets that Nikki Ferrell and The Bachelor's Juan Pablo had split, neither had commented — until now. 


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Aubrey Plaza Talks Grumpy Cat Movie: It's A Gift to America
Aubrey Plaza Talks Grumpy Cat Movie: It's A Gift to America

If you're not aware (shame on you), the famous Grumpy Cat is coming to the small screen thanks to Lifetime.

SEE: The search for the voice of Grumpy Cat

In "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever," the famous cat will be voiced by none other than Aubrey Plaza. She chatted with Jimmy Kimmel to talk about the film, which premieres on November 29. 


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