I believe in choosing instruments and melodies very carefully. This is an integral part of mixing in my opinion - that most people forget! Way before you are putting compressors, eq and fx on the mixer, choosing the instrument and playing notes that fit in the mix is a great start.
With this attitude, adding 'candy' becomes a lot easier, because the candy will be musically in the right place. The sound and technical stuff then becomes easier!
I also believe in a strong attitude towards believing crazy things will work, rather than sticking with the boring old standards. This usually brings more sparkly and interesting results!