Don't take this the wrong way... the first one looks like a cutout. Did you mask her and play in PS ?
The second one needs softer lighting (more direct lighting in relation to the camera). Of course this is just my opinion and I do not pretend I know what I am doing. The left side of her face is too dark, imo. If she had a somber/serious expression, then it would work.
Didnt notice it that much until you mentioned it. But i basically duplicated the layer did my editing layer masked it and paint brushed/airbrushed the image to try and blend the corrections in. I cant really afford PS so I use gimp. I try to take PS tutorials and make them work in gimp. easier said then done.
The second photo was the first time using the DIY soft box. I had no idea where to start with placement so I just guessed. I made a few different diffusion layers so i can try a heavier one to try to soften the light.
I am thinking I may just make a thread on this so i dont clog up this one with chatter.