Red lipstick is a must-have in every make-up bag, but it’s about to get all the more essential. Cervical Screening Awareness Week kicks off this Sunday and the Red Lippy Project is asking us all to colour our smackers with red lipstick to raise awareness about cervical screening – it’s like Movemeber’s fashionable and fuzz-free sister! We’ve been big supporters of the project since it launched in 2012 and this year we’ve created a limited edition red lipstick and make-up bag, with 30% of profits going to the cause. Read on to hear more from the project’s inspirational founders Caroline and Linda.

How did the idea for The Red Lippy Project come about?

Caroline: I’ve always been interested in charitable projects and knew I wanted to create something that would benefit and inspire young women to get involved in their own communities. I recently had a close family member suffering, and eventually pass away from cancer, and decided I wanted to create a cancer prevention project.

Linda: I love red lipstick and also wanted to make something that was fun and easy to relate to and take part in. I wanted it to be inclusive. Last year’s project became so successful we decided to take the next step and turn the Red Lippy Project into a registered charity in order to reach out to even more people.

What is your vision for the charity?

To raise awareness of the importance of doing the smear test, and to soften the stigma of taking the test and talking about it. Also, we want young women to engage in the conversation and take action within their own communities. It’s supposed to be a bit of fun but for a good cause!

How can Topshop girls get involved?

Don your brightest red lips during the awareness week, spread the message to friends, family and co-workers, and over social media, with #makeamark and #redlippyproject – and above all, don’t ignore your smear test. You can get your red lippy at Topshop in the special Lippy bars set up  at Topshop’s Oxford Circus flagship store. You can also donate £2 by texting RLIP to 70070.

What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from founding the charity?

The biggest lesson has been ‘you can’t do it all yourself’. It takes a lot of fantastic, inspiring people to get it all off the ground. And patience. Projects don’t happen over night and with hard work it will pay off. The key is not to give up when things get difficult. If you can remember why you started it and what impact it will have then it’s all worth it, no matter how many ups and downs there are along the way.

What are you most proud of?

Collaborating and being supported by so many amazing people.

What’s next for The Red Lippy Project?

For more people, communities and companies to take part. We are starting in the UK but eventually we want to make it a global charity. We are hoping to eventually fund other charity’s vital cancer research and finally find a cure. But until then… cancer prevention is out best option.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up our red lippy, pucker up and share your best selfies to #makeamark and spread the word about cervical screening!