Every great art has a technique, and every great artist will practice their art until they master their own technique. Holding a razor, a paint brush or a lump of sugar wax for the first time may elicit the same feeling but the main difference is that with sugar, you’re not going to cut yourself, and if you make a mistake no one will notice.
How you handle the sugar is partially a function of style and partly a function of use. Some like to control every bit of the sugar wax so they roll it up into a ball; moving the sugar with the thumb around in hand until the wax forms a ball. The sugar likes to hold together so with a few rolls around the hand you’ll have a ball.
Others like to scoop the sugar and apply it right away, loose ends and all.
The size of the lump depends on what are you’re planning on applying the sugar to.
For the upper lip area you’ll just need about a finger tip size lump and you may not want such a small lump to be too soft. Whereas your legs would require a much larger scoop; ideally spanning across all four fingers; and you may want it to be softer for ease of application.
Hard vs. Soft
It’s easier to scoop and apply the wax when it’s softer, but starting out warmer will shorten the endurance of the lump, especially in a warm room. A harder (cooler) lump will require more force to apply, but it lasts longer and is easier to handle especially when you’re new to it.
Press, Stretch, Pull
Think of your 4 fingers as your application tool. First you press the wax onto the skin at your starting point; then you sloooowly stretch it against the direction of growth*, all while pressing. It’s important to do the stretching very slowly and go over the wax 2-3 times with your fingers to give the sugar time to seep into the hair follicles and attach to the hair and dead skin. Once you’ve stretched out the lump and reinforced it a few times then you anchor the remaining bit of sugar in your hand with your thumb and you quickly pull the wax in the direction of hair growth*.
*The general rule is to apply against the direction of hair growth so that the sugar gets under and hair and into the follicle. It’s also easier to remove hair in the direction that it grows in. There is however one exception for this rule; if the hair is very long and very coarse the application of the sugar might be more painful than the removal of it so it is recommended to apply sugar in the direction of hair growth and pull in the opposite direction for very long and coarse hair.
NOTE: The descriptions of ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ refer to the temperature of the sugar wax by virtue of the length of time it has been warmed for.