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.

Maria Menounos and Mario Lopez at the 2011 Emmy Awards
Mario Lopez Denies Feud Between Him and Maria Menounos

Mario Lopez is trying to squash the drama. After rumors flew that Maria Menounos was axed because of Lopez's wishes, the Extra host spoke out: “Those are just rumors,” the 40-year-old told Fox News Latino“She’s still at work every day. We’re fine. There is no truth to that.”


Read more
Stars/Designers
Fashion Scoop: 6 Celebrities’ Favorite Designers!

When it comes to celebrities and fashion, figuring out your style and what looks great on a red carpet is key. These celebs have it down – sticking to tried-and-true designers that make them look absolutely amazing.  Here are some of their favorites:


Read more
Eva Longoria at the Paycheck to Paycheck premiere
Eva Longoria Talks 'El Voto HIspano' & The Latina Vote

Eva Longoria is on a mission. Besides being an accomplished actress, director and producer, the 39-year-old activist is working hard to educate others about our political system, empowerment and human rights. That's why she's lending her support to a new documentary, El Voto Hispano, which explores the political power and electoral tendencies of the Latino community.

We caught up with Longoria to talk about the Kickstarter campaign, the biggest misconceptions of Latino voters and more. Read it all below!


Read more
Your Newest Instagram Obsession: Genesis Gonzalez
Your Newest Instagram Obsession: Genesis Gonzalez

This pint-sized California girl has some big style. Check out this niñas cutest looks and follow her @miss_gabby_13!


Read more
Maren Sanchez
Student Stabbed in Connecticut After Reportedly Rejecting Prom Proposal

A 16-year-old Connecticut honor student was stabbed and killed after reportedly rejecting a prom proposal. Maren Sanchez of Jonathan Law High School in Milford, Connecticut, was attacked on Friday around 7:15 a.m. She later died at the hospital.

Milford Police Chief Keith Mello said the assault happened in the hallway, after she reportedly rejected the prom invitation of a 16-year-old student. The student is in custody, with name withheld because he is a minor. 

The school was placed on lockdown and the junior prom has been postponed.


Read more
Scary! Latinos Three Times More Likely to Die From Asthma Than Other Groups in U.S.
Scary! Latinos Three Times More Likely to Die From Asthma Than Other Groups in U.S.

Well, this is a bit terrifying. Latinos are three times more likely to die from asthma than other ethnic or racial groups in the United States, a new study from the Environmental Defense Fund reports.


Read more
The 10 Best Dressed Latina Stars of the Week!
The 10 Best Dressed Latina Stars of the Week!

From the Billboard Latin Music Awards to the Tribeca Film Festival, our stars were out to see and be seen this week. Take a look at the most stylish stars!


Read more
We Are the Nobles
Netflix Announces First Spanish-Language Original Series

Netflix is gaining momentum by the day, it seems, and it's not stopping anytime soon: the subscription service is launching its first Spanish-language original series, reports Variety.

The plot will center around a family feud among heirs of a Mexican soccer club, after the owners' death. It will be filmed in Mexico and directed by Gaz Alazraki, featuring the same team from the Mexican hit movie We Are the Nobles.


Read more
EXCLUSIVE: Sofia Vergara Reveals the Type of Woman Who Will Love Her Fragrance
EXCLUSIVE: Sofia Vergara Reveals the Type of Woman Who Will Love Her Fragrance

Sofia Vergara is coming out with a new fragrance, and we couldn't be more excited! The 41-year-old colombiana will launch her first fragrance, Sofia by Sofia Vergara, on HSN at midnight on April 24 (so set your alarms for 11:59 on April 23!).

The scent has top notes of blackberry and plum, rounded out by notes of colombian rose and colombian orchids, vanilla and sandalwood. 


Read more
15 Amazing Gift Ideas for Your Mami!
15 Amazing Gift Ideas for Your Mami!

Mother’s Day is almost here (mark your calendars: it’s Sunday, May 11!). Currently stumped on what to get your mami? We’ve got a few ideas that she’ll love (or that you can post to your Facebook wall. Hint, hint.) Feliz dia de las madres!


Read more