I've been having a bad patch of luck with HDR photos lately. I've tried about a dozen in the last three months or so and seen just crappy results. I'm unsure if it was the base photos, ISO or what but this one worked. I think maybe (maayybbeee) it was the export format I sent to Photomatix. I think it likes JPGs to TIFF which is entirely counter-intuitive.
HDR portraits are a tricky business. It's really easy to make yourself look ulgy(er).
I don't have the greatest skin but I'm no longer upset by it. I am surprised how lopsided my jaw is though. I wonder how much of that is caused by growing up asymmetrical - I am scrunched in odd ways being about 5 pounds lighter on the left side.