We went to the NYC Medi-Spa Lais Ribeiro, who's modeling the VS Fantasy Bra this year, visits to prep for the big fashion show

By Kaitlyn Frey
November 06, 2017 10:00 AM

What It Is: Velashape III, a non-invasive cellulite reducing and body contouring treatment.

Who Tried It: Kaitlyn Frey, Style & Beauty Assistant

Why We Tried It: In preparation for the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, tons of VS models – including Lais Ribeiro (who’s modeling the Fantasy Bra this year!) and Candice Swaenpoel – flock to Lisa Guidi, owner and founder of N.Y.C.’s Erase Spa, to undergo Velashape III to erase any signs of cellulite on their stomachs, thighs and buttocks. When Guidi invited me to try the treatment myself, I decided anything that could have me looking more “Angel-ic” was worth a shot.

Level of Difficulty: 7/10

2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - All Model Photo Op At Grand Palais

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When I signed up to try Velashape III for this We Tried It story, I expected to rank its level of difficulty as a 1/10. Lay back, relax and get your fat melted off? Sounds easy enough to me. But what I didn’t know was I couldn’t totally rely on the fat-burning machine to give me the flat abs of my dreams.

Now let me be clear: I’m not unhappy with my body and wasn’t looking to lose a ton of weight; Lisa is very clear that if that’s your goal, this treatment isn’t right for you. But I was a competitive gymnast my whole life and was used to having rock hard, flat abs. After four years of indulging in college {and beyond), I got…softer. Which is why Lisa told me I was an ideal candidate to flatten and contour my abdomen using Velashape.

2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Paris - Show
Credit: Francois G. Durand/WireImage

I used Velashape to heat my stomach and “love handle” region to approximately 118 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes once a week, but before my first session, Lisa warned me that if I continued to eat a bagel a day and a cheeseburger a week and never worked out, my efforts would be wasted. Basically, when the machine heats up my stomach to the optimal temperature for a consistent period of time, the fat cells shrink and I ultimately release the contents of the fat cells when using the bathroom (TMI?). But if I went home and binged on carbs and wine, the fat cells would expand again because sadly, you can’t actually completely remove them for good unless you get liposuction.

Credit: Kaitlyn Frey

So to really see a change, I made the commitment to be more mindful of my eating (no crazy diets, just more conscious of what I was putting in my body) and signed up for Classpass to go in tandem with my treatments.

As I disrobed and laid down to start my first Velashape, I had no idea what to expect besides a burning sensation on my belly. But the experience was far from that. It wasn’t painful at all, and actually felt like a hot stone massage on my front half. At a few certain points, when the machine reached its maximum temperature, I did start to feel a slight burning pain, but I told Lisa immediately and she gave me a minute to cool off before continuing. The love handles hurt more than my stomach (since the area is smaller and heated up faster) so we only did each side for five minutes to avoid the discomfort. At the end of my session, my stomach was red, but surprisingly already felt tighter — almost like I had just done 100 sit ups — than it had before.

Credit: Kaitlyn Frey

Once I left Erase Spa, I knew my work wasn’t over. About three times a week, I mixed tummy-toning barre classes (I became obsessed with Pop Physique, FlyBarre and Physique 57) with calorie-busting boxing (Rumble‘s my fave after trying it with my coworkers) and worked on eating healthier. Then once a week, I made my way back to Lisa at Erase Spa to target the stubborn fat on my stomach. The treatment itself ended up being relaxing and therapeutic, but took a serious time commitment. I have much more respect for the time and effort it takes the Victoria’s Secret models to get ready for the yearly fashion show after all the trips I made to Lisa at Erase Spa to get my tummy tighter.

Verdict: After nearly two months and seven treatments — it’s recommended to do six to eight sessions to really see a true difference — I must say, my stomach definitely felt tighter and flatter than it had in years. Do I look as runway-ready as the VS models? Not quite, but keep in mind, I wasn’t committing to as strict of a workout and diet regimen as they are. Velashape’s totally safe, relatively painless, quick and result-driven so if you’re ready to make the once-a-week journey to get the treatment done (say, leading up to a wedding, big event or honeymoon) I’d say go for it.

Would you try Velashape? Share your thoughts in the comments below.