Samantha Leal Senior Editor

Samantha Leal is the Senior 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.

Lizzie McGuire and Miranda Sanchez
5 Millennial Kids' Shows With Awesome Latino Characters

It used to be that having non-stereotypical Latino characters on TV was a pipe dream. But that dream has been realized, as kids growing up now have awesome Latino characters that not only showcase our culture, but do so in a way that feels more authentic. Millennial? You'll definitely know what we're talking about. Here are some of the best shows from the turn of the millennium that featured great Latino characters. 


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Stars of 'Orange is the New Black,' 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' and More to Come Together at Vulture Festival in NYC!
Stars of 'Orange is the New Black,' 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' and More to Come Together at Vulture Festival in NYC!

Who's already ready for the weekend?! We are, too, especially since it's the inaugural Vulture Festival, a weekend of pop culture events in New York City brought to you by Vulture.com.


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Selena Gomez at the 2014 Met Ball
The 11 Best Dressed Latinas at the 2014 Met Ball!

Last night's Met Ball (or what most like to call the the "Oscars of fashion") was a serious celebration of style. The theme of the night for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute gala took a more formal turn this year -- and there were some definite head-turning numbers. Take a look:


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Jennifer Lopez at the 2013 Met Ball
Met Ball: 15 of the Most Iconic Looks!

The Met Ball, the annual costume gala that fundraises for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, is one of the biggest social events in New York and one of the most iconic in fashion every year.  Fashion lovers and celebrity fans both zero in on the guest list and who is dressing whom – especially since Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor in chief, oversees the gala. Each year has a theme, and designers clamor to dress Hollywood’s hottest stars. While we eagerly await the night of fashion surprises, take a look at some of the biggest looks ever to walk the carpet:


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Isaac Deyson Brazilian grave digger and model
Your Newest Instagram Crush: Meet This Hot Brazilian Grave Digger (Seriously)

Buzzfeed, you're really on a roll. You helped spread the gospel of the hottest Brazilian subway worker, ever (praise the lord, hallelujah, amen), and now there's another Brazilian thrust into the spotlight: Isaac Deyson, 22, a grave digger slash model…. yep, you read that right.


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Instagram Cutie Alert: Brazilian Bebe Bruna Valentina!
Instagram Cutie Alert: Brazilian Bebe Bruna Valentina!

Um, talk about a cutie! This little one's mother, Desirre Moraes, has been documenting her adorableness for quite awhile now! Take a look at some of her cutest snapshots and see more at Instagram.com/DesirreMoraes


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Adriana Lima and Marko Jaric at the Technogym launch in 2010
Adriana Lima and Husband Split After Five Years

This one definitely comes as a shock! Victoria's Secret Model Adriana Lima, 32, and husband Marko Jaric, 35, have split, PEOPLE reports. The two have been married since 2009 and have two young daughters together: Valentina, 4, and Sienna, 19 months.


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Jennifer Lopez at the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Awards
The 14 Best Dressed Latina Stars of the Week!

From music award shows to film festival premieres, our stars looked absolutely radiant this week. Take a look at the most stylish picks!


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Nicole Richie on Purple Hair: It Feels No Different Than When I Was Blonde
Nicole Richie on Purple Hair: It Feels No Different Than When I Was Blonde

Thinking about making a hair change? It's not as drastic a feel as you think - or so says Nicole Richie. The 32-year-old star admitted that her new purple hue wasn't so much of a change from being blonde. 


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Christina Milian Talks New FUN Program, Wedding Plans & Raising Her Daughter Violet!
Christina Milian Talks New FUN Program, Wedding Plans & Raising Her Daughter Violet!

Christina Milian has a lot on her plate. Working on music, a reality show, wedding planning and more, the cubana is definitely one busy mujer – but she always makes time for family. That’s why she’s partnered with Kimberly-Clark – the company behind brands like Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kleenex and more – for a new family-focused campaign.


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