I was watching "Antonio Treatment" on HGTV and learned from a food stylist how to top a cupcake with the perfect swirl. I used to start swirling the icing on the outside of the cupcake and end in the middle but it always seemed kind of "flat" looking. I was using the right tip, it's an extra large one from Wilton # 1M.
The secret is to squirt a pile onto the center of the cake first.
Then starting on the outside of the cake swirl the icing around onto the top of the original squirt to make a nice high pile of icing. It'll look perfect every time!