Spread the silicon by (gloved) hand so it coats the entire area then lay the hygrolon on and without too much force smooth it out and allow it to cling. Donít press too hard that it seeps through but enough that it costs the back side. Let sit 24 hours and you will be good to go.
I would say part of this is 100% essential, and part is a matter of choice. The essential part is to not push so hard that you fill the hygrolon's pore space with silicone. It can't do its thing with water, if it's full of silicone!
Waiting 24 hrs is also great advice. To that I would add, "moderately mist the hygrolon with water, as your final step before the 24-hr cure time". The water will facilitate a good cure.
The elective part is "coat the entire area". I've taken to just doing a full strip, about an inch wide, up and down either side, and then laid down a grid of little dots (about a cm across, with maybe 2 inches spacing) in the middle. You use a lot less silicone, and the hygrolon is still solidly
If you are dead-set on smearing silicone, you definitely want the glove
but I find a putty knife to be most helpful for the actual spreading. You can really smear a thin layer in a flat plane, with a putty knife. Steel or plastic, doesn't matter. Just clean up after with paper towels. This is another way, too, to save on silicone. To get my inch-wide strip, I just lay down a bead with the gun and follow up with the knife, which spreads the bead out beautifully.