Don't be coy about smear tests - The Red Lippy Project is aiming to make us all far more bold when it comes to cervical screening, writes Judy Johnson

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This week is Cervical Screening Awareness Week (9-15 June 2013) and while that might not sound too glamorous, The Red Lippy Project is trying to make it just that.

Aiming to 'make a mark on cervical cancer', the week-long event encourages women to sport their brightest red lipstick and put their pout to good use by spreading the word about cervical screening and donating to help keep the research going.

It is estimated that the National Cervical Screening Programme  saves up to 5,000 lives every year, yet 20% of women in the eligible group fail to attend their screening when invited - putting their own lives at risk.

The Eve Appeal, a charity which funds research into gynaecological cancers, has teamed up with The Red Lippy Project for the awareness week to promote the screening programme and highlight the need for screening, particularly for younger women as nearly 68% of those ages between 25 and 29 missed their invitation in 2011/12.

Caroline Muhlich, creator and founder of The Red Lippy Project, says of the event: "We wanted to make the little talked about cervical test less taboo. The campaign is celebrating femininity and the importance of looking after ourselves and each other. The initial idea was to create a platform that talked openly about the importance of cervical screenings and cervical cancer with a fun, bold, visual language that women and especially younger women can relate to."

It's not the first time beauty and grooming has been put to good use; every year November becomes Movember , in which men take part by getting sponsored to grow a moustache in order to raise money for testicular cancer research.

While it's a fun and brilliantly social awareness campaign, don't let the beauty activity outweigh the health aspect. Whether you'll be donning your best red lippy or not, the key message is simple: never miss a cervical screening. A smear test might not be your favourite kind of appointment, but there's nothing glamorous about cancer.

To get involved, visit the website at , make a  donation here , share your red lippy photos on Instagram with the hashtag #theredlippyproject and more importantly, make that appointment.