So I chose a portrait of my grandmother taken like 3-4 months ago and did a new edit following your tips. :) I don't know why I always thought that adding the Camera Raw grain would be weird looking or something, maybe because it was not "legit" grain, haha. But it looks great! I tried to get rid of ugly highlights, all the basic adjustments, curves, some split toning, and added grain. I definitely need to practice some more, but I think it's a good start.
I've been a fan of your work for a while so it was great to have an insight on your process, thank you!