Perhaps you're familiar with the following Margaret Atwood quote: "The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them; there ought to be as many for love" (Source). It seems that Mikhail Lermontov has nearly as many ways to describe his characters' eyes, as the Eskimos had for snow. In fact, the introduction of nearly every character in Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time features a vivid description of his or her eyes. Take, for instance, his description of Bela's "...black eyes like a mountain goat's that looked right inside you" (Lermontov 13). Others are equally, if not even more, striking. Lermontov describes the mermaid girl's eyes as "bright and penetrating ... appear[ing] to have some magnetic power and seem[ing] always to be expecting some question" (64). In describing Princess Mary's eyes, Lermontov prefers the word "velvet" (75). He feels it "is just the right word", so much so that he suggests "you borrow it when you talk about her eyes" (Lermontov 75). He then continues his description, noting that "the top and bottom lashes are so long that the pupils don't reflect the sunlight" and "they're so soft, they seem to stroke you" (Lermontov 75).
My favorite description of a character's eyes, however, is definitely that of Pechorin's. Lermontov begins his description of Pechorin's eyes simply by noting their brown color. The rest of his description is worth quoting at length: "I must say a little more about his eyes. In the first place, they never laughed when he laughed. Have you ever noticed this peculiarity that some people have? It is either the sign of an evil nature or of a profound and lasting sorrow. His eyes shone beneath his half-lowered lids with a kind of phosphorescent brilliance (if one can put it like that). This brilliance was not the outward sign of an ardent spirit or a lively imagination. It was like the cold dazzling brilliance of smooth steel. When he looked at you, his quick, penetrating, somber glance left you with the unpleasant feeling that you'd been asked an indiscreet question, and it would have seemed insolent had it not been so nonchalantly calm" (Lermontov 48-49).
What I find most fascinating about Lermontov's descriptions of his characters' eyes is that he uses them to paint a picture of so much more than just their eyes. The reader does learn about a character's physical appearance through these descriptions, but he also learns a great deal about that character's nature, personality, and disposition. I suggest you take another glance at the introduction of the characters in A Hero of Our Time, paying particular attention to Lermontov's description of their eyes - you may be really impressed.