A beauty dish is one of the most fun, and unique light modifiers for people shooters. It’s very ‘poppy’ light, combined with a focused throw of light makes it ideal when you want to create a definite direction to the lighting. Most beauty dishes are metal parabolic with a very flat pan. The strobe is placed through the back of the pan and a small covering over the head keeps the brightness of the strobe from creating a hot spot.
The flat pan keeps the light more focused, and also lets the light fall off quicker. This allows the photographer to really sculpt the light, to create shadows on edges of the face that can really bring out the features. The small dish in front of the light bounces that main light back and into the larger pan. The light ends up being both focused and diffused. Access Legacy Lighting Essential page here.