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.

10 Adorable Easter Outfits For Your Bebe!
10 Adorable Easter Outfits For Your Bebe!

Make sure you’re niña or niño is looking sharp this Sunday with one of these cute ensembles.


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Paulina Rubio at the Cesar Chavez premiere
Lighten Up! How to Go From Dark Hair to Blonde

If your hair is dark and you feel like changing up your hair color this summer, Paulina Rubio's “Chica Dorada” may be your best option for extra drama factor. We caught up with L'Oreal Paris brand ambassador Marcos Carrasquillo (of Qiu Salon & Spa in Miami) to get the scoop on how to switch up your look! 


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Kenan Thompson as David Ortiz on Saturday Night LIve: Weekend Update
Here We Go Again: Another 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch Mocking Latinos

We feel like a broken record, but here it is: Saturday Night Live has yet again taken aim at Latinos, without, you know, actually having a Latino on cast. Really cool. In the newest sketch, Kenan Thompson plays Red Sox baseball player David Ortiz, honing in on his thick accent and his Dominican background. The entire sketch is centered around Ortiz's love for Dominican food. Because what else is a Latino but a lover of tostones with a thick accent?


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Bella Thorne and Tristan Klier get ready for prom
Bella Thorne Heads to Prom!

Cubanita Bella Thorne is one busy chica. Right before heading off to the MTV Movie Awards, the 16-year-old had another high profile night to attend: her prom! 

The teen shared pics on her Instagram account posing with boyfriend Tristan Klier, helping him with his tux and also sharing a PSA, warning kids to be safe and not drink and drive. She captioned the photo:


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Lupita Nyong'o at the MTV Movie Awards
Get the Look: Lupita's Awesome "Disco-Inspired" Eyes at the MTV Movie Awards!

Is Lupita Nyong'o ever not killing it on the red carpet? The recently appointed Lancome ambassadress looked gorgeous at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards! Celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose gave the recently appointed Lancôme ambassadress “sparkly, disco-inspired eyes” for the red carpet. Barose wanted to complement Nyong’o’s colorful dress with a silver metallic eye.

Here is what Nick used:

Face


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Jessica Alba at the MTV Movie Awards
EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Alba's Stylist Dishes on Her Glam Hairdo at the MTV Movie Awards!

Did you watch the MTV Movie Awards last night?! Whether you tuned in to see Paul Walker's tribute, the red carpet fashion, or Zac Efron's shirt being ripped off (thank you, Rita Ora), one standout was definitely Jessica Alba. The actress and entrepreneur showed off her amazing figure in a Piece D'anarchive crop top and full skirt by Kenzo and looked even more glam thanks to her fabulous hairdo by stylist Davy Newkirk.


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The 7 Best Dressed Latina Stars of the Week!
The 7 Best Dressed Latina Stars of the Week!

From media parties to red carpet arrivals, our stars killed it this week. Take a peek at the most stylish stars:


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Why Selena Stopped Using Her Parents as Managers
Why Selena Stopped Using Her Parents as Managers

The entertainment industry is known for young celebrities having a hybrid in their lives: the momager. Part parent, part manager, the roles can work to have the best interest of the star in mind -- but it can also lead to strained relationships and bad decisions. Now it seems Selena Gomez, 21, is ready for a new change of pace, as she drops the "manager" from her parents' titles.


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When 80s Goes Wrong: What's Happening With J.Lo's Hair?
When 80s Goes Wrong: What's Happening With J.Lo's Hair?

J.Lo always looks flawless. So it's always a bit of a surprise to see her in a questionable style or sillhouette. Case in point? This interesante 80s hairstyle that she wore on last night's American Idol episode. To be fair: it was an 80s episode, where contestants belted out tunes that fit the theme. But we're still unsure whether we're feeling it. On the plus side, there was one hairdo (or don't, depending on your take) that outshined Lopez's: Keith Urban rocked a mullet.

What do you think of J.Lo's hair? An 80s 'do or a forever don't?


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The 7 Cutest Makeup Bags for Spring!
The 7 Cutest Makeup Bags for Spring!

These fun beauty holders will stash all your essentials and add some whimsy to your vanity.


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