Let me teach you how to add the perfect amount of sugar to your paste EVERY time. Its pretty simple if you can just get past the idea that its a process, not a recipe. It will vary depending on the weather.
Here’s how it works:
Sugar will draw moisture from the air. This thins your paste. This is why some people in humid places think they can’t use sugar. They mix their paste to a working consistency, THEN add the sugar. It draws moisture from the air, and thins out some more. Now the paste is too sloppy, the lines spread, and it takes too long to dry! On a dry day, because there is very little moisture in the air for the sugar to pull into your paste, it will take more sugar to thin it to a working texture. On a humid day, each spoonful will thin your paste more because there’s lots of moisture in the air. It works out great because we need more sugar on dry days than damp days. Clear as mud? Don’t worry, you’ll get it when you see this:
Don’t use more than 5 tablespoons of sugar. This will make sticky, nasty paste that will most likely never dry even in the driest climate. If you put 5 tablespoons of sugar into a 100 g batch and its still too thick, then thin it down with the rest of the way with water. In this case you may need some sort of seal.
Add the sugar the same day, and in the same environment you’ll be working. If you’re going to work outside, mix outside. If you’re going to work in air-conditioning, add sugar in air-conditioning. This trick is environmentally dependent!
You can mix with just liquid and oils, really thick (like plaster thick) and freeze that in advance. Pull out a bag of thick paste when you’re ready to use it, and sugar it that day.
Even stringy hennas can benefit from sugar! The natural qualities will help with draping lovely, fine, lines, but it won’t make the dry paste flexible enough to move with skin. My method will help you add sugar to even stringy paste and maintain the integrity of your lines.