Hard light for beauty?

It is often taught that soft light is the prime choice for beauty shots and to conceal skin flaws.

Actually, the very opposite may be true, especially if combined with (again, counterintuitively) high-contrast post-processing.

In this case, the combination of a central gridded beauty-dish, placed above camera at about 1m from the subject, and a contrast curve that pushes the skin tone right up to the highlights, ensure that most of the skin texture is invisible and “hidden.”

Using a Fujifilm X-T1 and setting the highlights to +2 and the shadows to +2, with a red-filter black-and-white film simulation, produces this result straight out of the camera.