Well, it seems like everyone moved on lol. There's a lot of improvement with the second one you painted.
I spent a couple hours on this though so I'll just share it anyway Would've helped to have that ref earlier, but I found some of my own! Like Julia I couldn't help doing a paint over.
The main issue I saw was the skin tone and overall light environment. With the colors you used it would probably be night time or early morning, which would give you cooler/blue tones. Because of that I painted it with a weaker light source in mind and got rid of the strong highlight.
Be careful with your references if you're studying. The one you used looks photoshopped in order to make the iris stand out, so the shadows, colors and lighting might be off.
Back to the painting, I think you did a great job keeping the direction of the light in mind. The shape of the lids were good, the upper one just needed to rounder and pushed up a bit. I think the main things that are getting in your way are colors and technique.
This artist and video helped me a lot with rendering and getting familiar with the shape of the eye.
Hope this helps!