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.

Mexican Restaurant in Minnesota Sued Over Policy to Hire Latinos — But Not as Managers
Mexican Restaurant in Minnesota Sued Over Policy to Hire Latinos — But Not as Managers

Well, this is interesting. Eight weight employees are claiming they were fired by a Mexican restaurant in Bloomington, Minnesota because they were not Hispanic, according to Fox News Latino.


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Demi Lovato and Boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama Share a Kiss In Her New "Nightingale" Video
Demi Lovato and Boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama Share a Kiss In Her New "Nightingale" Video

So sweet! Demi Lovato released a new video for her single "Nightingale" — a track on last year's Demi album — and it's a moving one.


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Antonio Banderas Has a New Young Girlfriend
Antonio Banderas Has a New Young Girlfriend

Antonio Banderas has a new girlfriend! The star has been seen cozying up to Nicole Kimpel, a Dutch investment consultant who is 20 years his junior. The 34-year-old and 54-year-old were most recently spotted in Spain, where they went on a jog together. 

MORE: Antonio and Melanie Griffith file for divorce


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Selena Gomez Brings Home Special Guest for Christmas
Selena Gomez Brings Home Special Guest for Christmas

Selena Gomez brought home a special friend for Christmas — and no, it wasn't a new boyfriend. The 22-year-old singer took her new British friend and model, Cara Delevingne to her Dallas, Texas home for the holidays.

MORE: Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne hang out on a yacht!


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Rush Limbaugh Thinks Idris Elba Shouldn't Be James Bond Because He's Black
Rush Limbaugh Thinks Idris Elba Shouldn't Be James Bond Because He's Black

The Sony Pictures hack exposed many private emails between executives, with one email chain reportedly showing that Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal wanted to cast British actor Idris Elba as the next James Bond, after Daniel Craig. And apparently, one person would not be happy with that choice.


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Passenger Taken Off American Airlines Flight After Freaking Out Over Staff's "Merry Christmas"
Passenger Taken Off American Airlines Flight After Freaking Out Over Staff's "Merry Christmas"

Someone was not in the Christmas spirit when it came to a flight aboard American Airlines. One passenger was escorted off a plane at La Guardia Airport in New York on Tuesday after becoming agitated that workers were wishing him a "Merry Christmas", reports the New York Post


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The 10 Best Dressed Stars of the Week
The 10 Best Dressed Stars of the Week

From rockin’ out at Jingle Bell to attending international film festivals, these stars looked absolutely amazing this week!
MORE: Holiday dresses under $50


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8 Holiday Cocktails That Will Make Your Season Bright
8 Holiday Cocktails That Will Make Your Season Bright

Nothing makes the holiday season like quality time with familia and friends. Serve up a little something delicious to make everyone smile just a little brighter. Salud!

MORE: punches perfect for the holidays!


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13 Amazing Holiday Gifts For Every Woman In Your Life
13 Amazing Holiday Gifts For Every Woman In Your Life

Holiday season is almost here (eeek!) so it’s time to start making that list and checking it twice – just make sure these gifts make the cut for all the mujeres you love. 
PLUS: 10 gifts you should never get a Latina.


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