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.

EXCLUSIVE: Adrienne Bailon Talks Favorite Books & Authors
EXCLUSIVE: Adrienne Bailon Talks Favorite Books & Authors

Welcome to this episode of Bailon's Books!


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Jessica Alba Explores Her Mexican Roots on PBS
Jessica Alba Explores Her Mexican Roots on PBS

Jessica Alba is exploring her Mexican heritage in a new episode of Finding Your Roots, a PBS series that explores geneology and identity. 

The episode features Jessica Alba and her father, Mark Alba (who is of Mexican descent), shifting through photos and documents related to her ancestors. 


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Latino Voters Overwhelmingly Support Obama's Executive Action on Immigration
Latino Voters Overwhelmingly Support Obama's Executive Action on Immigration

A new poll released on Monday shows that almost 9 in 10 registered Latino voters support President Barack Obama's Executive Action on immigration, which would help undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S.


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Guess Who Beat Out Barbie For Top Christmas Present This Year?
Guess Who Beat Out Barbie For Top Christmas Present This Year?

Barbie has been replaced. For the first time in 11 years, the top holiday present for little girls is anything Frozenreports PEOPLE. The National Retail Federation reports that one in five parents, or 20 percent, plan to buy Frozen merchandise for their girls.


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16 Thanksgiving Cocktails That Are Actually Worth the Effort
16 Thanksgiving Cocktails That Are Actually Worth the Effort

While some of you may whip up a drink like you’re a host on The Food Network, some of us consider opening a bottle of wine a culinary treat. (“Pinot Noir, annnnnd you’re welcome.”) But sometimes, the extra effort is actually worth it. Here are some cocktails that will wow your family (and your tastebuds) and have instructions that even your 10-year-old could follow. (But, maybe don’t have them make the drink… 21 and over, mi gente.)


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7 Awkward Holiday Moments We All Know Too Well
7 Awkward Holiday Moments We All Know Too Well

‘Tis the season… for awkward holiday moments. On the bright side? You’re not alone. Here are 7 moments most Latinos can relate to.

MORE: 10 ways to know you're at a Latino Thanksgiving.


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No Indictment for Ferguson Cop Who Shot Michael Brown
No Indictment for Ferguson Cop Who Shot Michael Brown

A decision has been made. There will be no indictment for Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop who shot and killed Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old whose shooting sparked massive protests across Missouri and the nation.


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Diego Boneta Selfies
Diego Boneta's Best Selfies Ever

Diego Boneta is one hot mexicano. The 23-year-old can act and sing — and we must admit — looks pretty good shirtless. Thankfully, he's happy to share his good looks with the world via his Instagram. Thank you Diego,  thank you. 

MORE: The 15 hottest Latino guys in their 20s.


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EXCLUSIVE: Fitness Guru Mankofit Talks Staying Motivated & Her Best Tips for the Holidays
EXCLUSIVE: Fitness Guru Mankofit Talks Staying Motivated & Her Best Tips for the Holidays

Fitness guru Massy Arias AKA Mankofit was honored at Latina's 30 Under 30 event, where she gave us the scoop on her best tips for the holidays and beyond.


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The Best Dressed Celebrities at the American Music Awards!
The Best Dressed Celebrities at the American Music Awards!

The American Music Awards are here! The awards show may be honoring the best music of the year, but we're honoring the best dressed on the carpet. Here's a look at the most stylish stars: 


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