Recently, I became interested in Russian piping tips and decided to try them out. There are three types- nozzles, balls, and the basic tip. The nozzle is the most well-known, and it is often referred to as just a 'russian piping tip'.
Then there's the ball tip- less common, and, yes, it uses up a lot of frosting. (;
Finally, there's the last one- the pointed tip.
There is a great variety of each one, and, although they can be really hard to master, the effect is really stunning. For starters, you're going to need a REALLY STIFF buttercream- and I mean STIFF. This will help the piped frosting keep its shape, and will also . Make sure that you don't keep your hands around the piping bag, that will make the frosting less stiff. For the nozzle tip, you start a little ways straight up from the cupcake (or whatever it is that you are frosting) and squeeze gently until the frosting touches the surface. Still squeezing very lightly, pull up slowly. Finish. You can add a little leaf off to one side- it works best if the leaf is leaning against the piped flower.