Beauty dishes are what pros use to make their flash lighting diffuse and well, as the name implies, beautiful. I learned about these from the David hobby, _the_ strobist
, so I have him to thank (and all the other strobists) for all my lighting knowledge. The effect on the model is a soft, diffused light with nice catchlights (the sparkle) in their eyes. To make a lot of wrinkles and such disappear, the beauty dish floods the model with light.
Beauty dish light modifiers are expensive
I'm a hobbyist photographer.
I'm a cheapskate.
I made one for roughly 5 dollars and 45 minutes..