Hi there - does anyone have any advice for the best way to affix 1mm half cut seed pearls into a cut-out channel within a 9ct gold and/or 18ct vermeil pendant?

So far I have tested with an epoxy glue which appears to be holding well.
However, given how tiny the pearls are, and my lack of experience - it's proving to be a messy endeavour. No matter how steady my hand, I always seem to get glue outside of the channel/ onto the pearls themselves.
Is there a suggested tool for picking up/ placing the pearls?

Any tooling or handiwork advice much appreciated!
Thanks, J