Anne, if I can give some help at a higher level - to do with perspective and posing - it's in this that the pictures have most weakness, and in the lighting and colour they have the most strength.
The hands in any portrait are a problem. Physically, the area of a hand can be almost as large as the face, and usually larger than the features of a face. When a hand is placed closer to the camera than the face, even a small enlargement caused by a close viewpoint can give it a weight in the picture which tends to match or dominate the face.
When placing a hand below the chin, as in your second shot, the visual weight of the hand can be reduced and it can look slimmer and more elegant if you ask the sitter to turn the hand, curling it round the side of the face. With the hand turned a little sideways, it can occupy maybe half the area; your shot has the back of hand too dominant, and not tapering at the bottom of the frame. By turning the wrist (and also making an adjustment to the 'unused' fingers to curl them attractively) this can be greatly improved, returning attention to the face.
In general, where hands are brought forward near the face/neck/chin (but not in something exaggerated like my avatar picture!) it's best to use a longer focal length, moving back. It also helps to use a higher viewpoint, either asking the subject to sit down when you are standing, or looking for a slightly elevated camera angle.
Finally, if you have really good lighting control, the light should be feathered off any exposed flesh (hand, arms, shoulder) which is closer to the camera than the face. Shoulders are a constant problem in wedding photography, where the bride will look slimmer if angled a little side-on to the camera - but this tends to bring one shoulder towards the lens. A scarf, shawl, drape or the veil can be used to cover half the shoulder which reduces its weight. But I see many wedding photographs where one shoulder occupies more image area than the entire face of the bride and it also more brightly lit. In the past we used vignette filters (Cromatek, Sailwind, etc) to help - today we can use digital vignetting and very careful burning in.
Hope this is useful (with my MPA hat on not my Photoclubalpha hat on).