I would maybe look into retouching techniques like frequency separation to maintain skin texture. I agree with your wife that the color photo is definitely a more flattering photo of her.
Here you go:
"How-to Video": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldhG9fmgC7o
Heres a link to a free PS frequency separation action (in a zip file) if you want to play around with something pre-made: